John Setka Biography, Age, Nationality, Family, Career Path and Net Worth

John Setka is an Australian who is of a controversial personality. He is the Victorian state secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.

Profile Summary

Full Name John Setka
Date of Birth September 1964
Nationality Australian
Occupation Australian Trade Unionist and Professional Cyclist
John’s Party Labor Party
Net Worth $3 million

Early Life of John Setka?

John Setka is an Australian was born on September 1964 in Victoria to Mr. Bob Setka, a Croatian labourer. John had a rough time growing up, for his father Bob was among the few labourers who survived the West Gate Bridge collapse in 1970, a tragedy caused by improper structural design which killed 35 workers.

John Setka Career Life


John Setka actually started working as a labourer at the age of 19. That was also when he began showing massive interest with trade union movement under the Builders Labourers Federation. While in the BLF, he was mentored by the Victorian state secretary of the union John Cummins.

John Setka Controversies as Regards His Union Leadership

John Setka’s approach to industrial action has been controversial due to the “pervasive power of the CFMEU over construction companies”. In 2012, following criticisms, he unsuccessfully attempted to sue the then opposition leader Tony Abbott for “allegedly implying he is a union thug”.

In 2015, Setka encouraged workers within the Rail, Tram and Bus Union to strike during the Australian Football League finals to “use finals fever to their advantage in their bitter industrial fight with Metro Trains and Yarra Trams”. The decision was criticised by Victorian Labor minister Jacinta Allan due to the strike’s impact on businesses.

At a Labor Party conference in 2018, Setka criticised the former prime minister Kevin Rudd stating “”he’s one of the worst fucking Labor PMs we’ve ever had” as “he kept the ABCC, and coercive powers and he wants to talk about workers and the trade union movement. Fucking shit talker.”

In June 2019, the Australian Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese proposed to expel Setka from the Labor Party over alleged comments against “anti-violence campaigner Rosie Batty”. The following day, Setka objected to any attempt to remove him from his position, stating that there was “dirty politics at work” due to his “view of where the union should be in regard to the ALP, and some people probably don’t share that view”.

Reactions to Setka’s behaviour and his potential expulsion from the party were mixed from union and political movements. The CFMEU Victoria branch has threatened to cut financial support to ALP if John Setka is expelled. As of June 2019, the New South Wales and Western Australia branches of the CFMEU announced their support for Setka. Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie revealed she had invited Setka to her house in Tasmania for Sunday roast, in a bid to convince Setka to resign as head of CFMEU Victoria branch. The senator has threatened to vote for the Coalition government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill, a bill banning union officials who repeatedly break the law, if Setka does not resign. Australian Council of Trade Unions’ secretary Sally McManus also called on Setka to step down.

In July 2019, Setka applied for an injunction to the Supreme Court of Victoria to stop the expulsion vote by the party, arguing that the Labor Party’s national executive does not have the power to expel him, and that it should be a matter for the Victorian branch. The injunction temporarily prevented him from being expelled from the party. The court responded in August 2019 that it could “not interfere with internal decisions of voluntary unincorporated associations” and “the motion to expel [Mr Setka] from the ALP is not within the court’s jurisdiction”. However, the court warned that the party’s national executive would need to be compliant with any state processes to expel a member. Setka attempted to appeal and overturn the Supreme Court’s refusal to block his expulsion from the party.

On 23 October 2019, Setka withdrew the appeal to the Supreme Court, and the Labor Party expelled him from the party later that day.

John Setka Net Worth

John Setka has a projected net worth, estimated to be above $3 million dollars.


John Setka is a Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union. Recently, he is making headlines as ALP leader Anthony Albanese is set to kick him out of labor party over ‘disgraceful’ Batty comments.

John Setka is married to his wife Emma Walters. Together, they have three children: David, Kate, and Johnny. He was found guilty in June 2019 for using a carriage service to harass his wife, for which he received a 12-month good behaviour bond.


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