BRANCH NEWS                                                       The Maritime Union of Australia

                                                                                         September 2009

                                The MUA, in unity to help our members achieve            Issue 7

Inside this edition
                                            OH&S Rally/Demonstration
We will remember him    2
                            On Tuesday, 1 September 7,000 combined Union members marched to the
- Allan Whittaker
                            steps of the Victorian Parliament to protest proposed changes to the Occu-
Book review             3   pational Health & Safety (OH&S) Legislation. A Coalition of Australia Gov-
Maurice Blackburn       3   ernment (COAG) meeting (representing all State, Territory and Federal
Lawyers                     Government) in 2006 decided to Harmonize all Health & Safety Legislation
3 CR Radio              3   so that one system of OH&S Legislation would apply to all of Australia. The
                            ACTU has not opposed the idea, as long as it leads to lifting OH&S to the
Union Shopper           4
                            higher standards.
Deaths                  4   The Victorian Trades Hall Council organised a combined meeting of Health
Merchandise             4   & Safety Representatives from all Unions at Story Hall at RMIT on 19 Au-
                            gust. The meeting heard a number of speakers including Frank Fairly, Jeff
Who said this…          4
                            Ayres, Brian Boyd, Jeff Lawrence and Dean Mighell who resolved to en-
                            dorse a combined Union rally on 1 September to protest the proposed
                            OH&S changes. September 1 coincided with a day for equal pay between
                            men and women. On average women have to work 62 days extra to receive
                            the same earnings as men. Their march was led by women in recognition of
Up Coming Events
                            their campaign for equal pay.
Retired members -
                            Several speakers including Brian Boyd, Jeff Lawrence, Ingrid Stit and Mar-
24 September 2009
                            tin Kingham spoke at the OH&S rally. The most moving speaker was Maitea
                            Medina whose husband recently passed away of Mesothelioma at the age of
Monthly members             42. Tony Medina was diagnosed with Mesothelioma two years ago. Tony
meeting -                   had worked in the asbestos removal industry before it was regulated. The
29 September 2009           CFMEU member campaigned actively to raise the safety standards and
                            helped to write the Safe Code of Practice that now covers the industry.
                            Maitea had stated that this year would be the first fathers day that her
                            five children would be without their father.
Contact Us                  Contact the MUA Victorian Branch if you wish to be involved in the cam-
The Maritime Union of       paign to stop changes to the Health & Safety Legislation.
46-54 Ireland Street,         Denise Mc Nicol Congratulations on 20 years with the MMPCU
West Melbourne 3003
                            The MUA Victorian Branch officials, members and staff would like to con-
Ph: 9329 5477               gratulate Denise on a job well done over the past 20 years. Bravo Denise!!!
Fax: 9328 1682
      Page 2                                                                                  Issue 7

                            We Will Remember Him
Each year on ANZAC day, our nation takes a public holiday to stop and remember the men and
women, who fought and died for this country. However, in 1928, when a waterside worker died af-
ter being shot by police during an industrial dispute, only other workers mourned his death. There
were no political speeches about sadness and regret and the media were strangely silent about the
fact that 14 years before, on the morning of the 25th of April, 1914, the same worker that was
shot by a bullet from a Victorian Police officers gun, was also wounded on the beach at Gallipoli.
The waterside worker, Allan Whittaker, Army number 468, 1st Platoon of the 1st Infantry Brigade,
was among the first ashore on the first day at Gallipolli. Shortly after landing he received a
wound in the ankle that hospitalised him for 80 days. He returned to Australia and was invalided
out of the army on a pension.
The Shooting
I928 was an era of mass unemployment. In an attempt by the ship owners and Federal Government
to break the Waterside Worker Union, (sound familiar?) hundreds of unskilled workers were
brought in to work on the wharves. At 8am on Friday the 2nd of November, about 200 non-
unionists were working on ships at Princes Pier. These men were not only taking away jobs from
workers who had traditionally done this work they were also taking the bread and butter out of
the mouths of the displaced workers hungry children. Many unionists and their families were
forced to live in a degrading level of poverty for many months during this dispute. Men who take
other men’s jobs during an industrial dispute are despicable and universally known as scabs.
At 8am on Friday, November 2nd, State Police were protecting scabs working ships at Princes Pier.
Frustrated with having no justice or rights to appeal and watching scabs going up a gangway to do
their work was too much for some of the angry union workers. In an attempt to stop the scabs
from starting work, 200 unionists rushed past the 25 police guarding the end of the Pier. Ships
officers waving pistols ordered the ships gangways to be pulled up and steam hoses aimed at the
unionists on the wharf.
There had been some stones thrown during an initial minor scuffle with police when the unionists
first rushed past the police on the Pier but they had regrouped and now formed a line across the
Pier. Some workers were still down the Pier and behind the police. They walked through the police
lines without any trouble to join the other unionists who were walking off the end of the Pier. It
was at this point of time that Sub Inspector Henry Mossop, ordered the police to fire the pistols
that wounded the four unionists. In all 90 bullets were fired and while it was noticed that most of
the police fired their guns into the air, Sub Inspector Mossop, himself was seen with one knee on
the ground, steadying his pistol on his arm and taking aim. A bullet passed through the neck and
out through the jaw of 37 year old Allan Whittaker. He was taken to the Prince Henry Hospital
where he died three months later. (26th of Jan 1929.) The three other wounded workers survived
the shooting.
 (Allan Whittaker’s family were patriotic Australians. He had two brothers and both fought for
this country in WW1. Cecil was killed in France in 1918. Percy returned and also worked on Mel-
bourne’s waterfront.)
 It must be pointed out that police on duty at Princess Pier that day were in the majority them-
selves scabs. They had taken the jobs of Victorian police, who were sacked for striking in 1923
while attempting to gain better wages and conditions. What this meant was, that there was armed
police scabs protecting waterfront scab.
To be continued in the next edition of the branch newsletter.
 VICTORIAN BRANCH                                                                         Page 3

                Book Review - “Brave new workplace”
                                     By David Peetz 2006
Peetz gives a banal and conservative, though statistical account of the advent of individual
The book was published in the year prior to “Kevin 07” the result of which sees most of
Howards anti worker legislation intact in the Fair Work Act - 75%.
One passage relates how a long standing Union both in an official and rank and file capacity
willingly participated in the individualising process that in turn led to its demise in the WA min-
ing industry!
So much is left out of his work, does that abandonment of job safety as part of the general
specter of individualisation get a mention. Nor do the words treachery, double dealing, acqui-
escence, resistance?
He concludes by offering sophist solutions to the onslaught, forgetting after all, this is capi-
Some tips on further reading are added.
Geoff Walsh 7261

                          Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Maurice Blackburn, the MUA’s lawyers, is one of the largest and most successful trade union
firms in the country. They’ve been fighting for the rights of injured workers for 90 years.
Their team of expert lawyers can provide you with advice on:
WorkCover · Road Accident Injuries · Medical Negligence · Asbestos Diseases · Public Liability ·
Faulty Products · Comcare · Superannuation & Insurance Claims
MUA members get:
Free telephone advice
Free first consultation
Access to their No win - No charge policy*
Free standard Will
If you’ve been injured and need help, call Maurice Blackburn on 1800 810 812 or visit
* Conditions apply

                                        3CR Radio
Make the most of our media, tune into the following program:
MUA Fire Up Program - Next sessions 10 September and 24 September, 6.30 am to 7.00 am
                                                                                                                       Page 4

Edward Vann - Edward passed away on 6 September (Fathers Day). He worked as a steve-
dore at Trans Ocean terminals and was a member of the Union from 7 November 1951 to 15
December 1991.
Sonya Flegg - Sonya passed away on 16 August 2009 at the age of 35. She was a caterer and
worked for Off Shore Marine. Sonya was a member of the Union since November 1993.
The Maritime Union of Australia, Officials, Staff and members wish to pass on their deepest
sympathies to the families of fellow comrades who have passed away.

New merchandise is now available at the MUA Victorian Branch. They are as follows:
       - Blue Hoodie                        $60.00                 - T-Shirts (women)                         $35.00
       - Polo shirt                         $40.00                 - Cool dry raglan polo                     $40.00
       - T-shirt (3/4 sleeve)               $30.00                 - Ottoman knit style polo                  $45.00
       - Grey hoodie                        $60.00
If you wish to purchase any merchandise please come into the branch or contact Victoria Bal-
dacchino to place an order. But be quick as merchandise will sell quickly. We welcome mem-
bers suggestion on the quality or type of our merchandise.

                                           Who said this…
'If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you
are misinformed.'
Last Issue:
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
ANSWER: Theodore Parker

                       Authorised by Kevin Bracken, Victorian Branch Secretary, Maritime Union of Australia

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