Members of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees union (SDA) rallied outside its Brisbane offices on May 30.
The rally was in response to SDA Brisbane branch secretary Chris Ketter sacking organiser Allan Swetman, the day before Swetman was set to challenge for the secretary position.
Swetman had questioned the fact Brisbane SDA organisers had attended lectures held by religious organisations against same-sex marriage and abortion rights, and alleged the union is supporting these lectures.
Rally organiser and convener of SDA Members for Marriage Equality Duncan Hart said the union leaders’ opposition to same-sex marriage shows the union is not representing its members’ views.
Hart said polling of young people showed that support for same-sex marriage in the union’s rank-and-file members is at odds with the leadership’s socially conservative position. SDA Members for Marriage Equality and other pro-democracy SDA members called for Ketter to resign immediately and for the SDA to move to democratic unionism, which would represent the views of its members.