Unions will attempt to derail State Government’s fluoridation push unless it earns the community’s blessing, according to Geelong Trades Hall boss Tim Gooden.
Mr Gooden said Trades Hall had passed a resolution supporting calls for a referendum on fluoridation.
“I’m no chemist but for us it’s a question of democracy,” Mr Gooden said.
Trades Hall would call on the unions to flex their muscles unless residents voted on fluoridation.
“But if there isn’t strong community sentiment opposing fluoridation we won’t take action,” Mr Gooden said.
In the 1980s Trades Hall helped anti-fluoride activists defeat plans to fluoridate Geelong’s water with bans on union members from working on the project.
“If there was a large community campaign then members may have discussions with their unions about whether they could refuse to cross a community picket line,” Mr Gooden said.
But he said non-union workers could still agree to work on fluoridation infrastructure.
Unions needed legal advice on whether work bans would be illegal under WorkChoices, he said.