Unions launch their own 'real tradie' ad

The response ad was released roughly 24 hours after the original went to air. Source: CFMEU

A major trade union has responded to the Liberals' 'fake tradie' ad with a video in which workers on construction sites hold signs criticising the government's policies for working people.

A Liberal Party ad featuring a “real tradie” which aired on Sunday night and was widely mocked on social media has prompted a response from the CFMEU.

John Setka of the Victoria-Tasmania branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union tweeted a video response to the Liberal Party’s ad on Monday night, roughly 24 hours after the original aired.

The original ad features a man in a high visibility vest on a work site criticising Labor for being anti-business and anti-banks, which he says will impact on “someone like me, who just wants to get ahead with an investment property”.

In the CFMEU’s response, workers on construction sites hold signs to send a message.

“Dear Malcolm, your #FakeTradie ad is terrible, but not as terrible as your policies for working people,” the signs read.

SBS News understands the response video was filmed yesterday in both Melbourne and Sydney, then edited and published last night.

A CFMEU spokesman told SBS News the video was made in-house and featured union members.

The original ad has been criticised on social media for lacking credibility, with the original star wearing a watch, a bracelet and apparently owning an investment property.

The Daily Mail has reported to have tracked down the original tradie, Andrew MacRae, a 50-year-old metal worker and former electrical supervisor who drives a black ute and lives in a modest house in Lane Cove, Sydney.

“He does something in the voice and they've dressed him up - he doesn't normally dress like that,” a friend of Mr MacRae told the Daily Mail. 

A Sydney voice-over artist with the same name and a similar appearance was briefly suspected of being the 'real tradie' before the real MacRae was tracked down.

In a statement, a coalition spokesperson told SBS News they were pleased people were talking about the ad, which they said highlighted Bill Shorten’s economic policies.

"The tradie is real, unlike Mr Shorten’s claims about Medicare,” the statement said.

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