The Australian Workers’ Union launched an ad campaign on Monday, highlighting Clive Palmer’s controversial record as an employer, including legal wrangling involving workers seeking basic entitlements after the collapse of Queensland Nickel.
Mr Palmer visited Gympie last month on the campaign trail, where he and his United Australia Party have been spending record amounts of money positioning the billionaire and his team as friends of the average workers.
But AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton said the image being projected by the UAP marketing material was at odds with Mr Palmer’s form as an employer.
“Clive Palmer the politician likes to talk a lot about freedom, but Clive Palmer the employer is a very different character,” Mr Walton said.
“After the collapse of Queensland Nickel and the struggle workers had to go through to get their entitlements, many were silenced with strict non-disparagement clauses — not exactly ‘freedom.’
“We know the UAP has been successful in picking up support in regional seats, and I don’t blame blue collar workers for a second if they’re looking for an alternative from politics as usual.
“But the fact of the matter is Clive just ain’t it. He is no friend of the worker.
“We think it’s vital that voters understand who the real Clive is – and it’s not the big smiling thumbs-up character from his ads.”