'No involvement': Union denies Frecklington boycott claims
A UNION accused of staging a boycott against a Kingaroy business has fired back at the claims.
Jason Frecklington, husband of opposition leader and Nanango MP Deb Frecklington, told the Courier-Mail his Gloria Jeans franchise, which closed in 2017, was the target of a boycott orchestrated by the Electrical Trades Union in 2012.
He said turnover dropped 20 per cent almost overnight in late 2012 when union officials ordered workers at the nearby Tarong power station to shun the shop as payback for the State Government-owned company's decision to offer its staff voluntary redundancies.
Mr Frecklington said the alleged boycott caused him financial distress and left him on the brink of mental breakdown.
"It was bloody tough,” Mr Frecklington said.
"The union attacks were incredibly stressful and took a pretty big personal toll.”
However, ETU state secretary Peter Ong categorically denied the claims.
"There was absolutely nothing orchestrated by the ETU at the time, or since,” Mr Ong said.
"We have a whole lot bigger things to do than to look at a coffee shop.”
Mr Ong said the ETU advised the government on the redundancies at Tarong, but there was no directive to boycott Mr Frecklington's business.
"This was 150 workers being laid off when they shut down units at Tarong Power Station. At the time, the only involvement we had was to advise the government that this was a major employer, and the amount of money that'd be going back in the community would reduce,” he said.
Mr Ong said it was possible Tarong workers had chosen to avoid Mr Frecklington's business but there was no direction from the union to do so.
"Maybe there was a couple of workers that said they wouldn't buy coffee from there but that's their personal choice,” he said.
"Even if a couple of our members or workers decided they had the s***s with him because his wife was in government, there was no involvement from the ETU.”