War on the Wharfies News Summary
July 98



News Summary - Friday 24 July

Peace Deal delayed by Australian Consumer and Competition Commission

Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) chaired by Professor Allan Fels are holding up a settlement to this dispute by refusing to withdraw prosecution initiated against the MUA until the following conditions are met.

These conditions include:

I ask why the union should be liable for damages caused by a dispute which was clearly engineered by Chris Corrigan of Patricks in direct collusion with the Prime Minister and senior Ministers and ministerial advisors in the Howard Liberal/National Party government.

Meanwhile final negotiations are continuing in finalising the agreement between the MUA and Patrick Management. The Federal Government is refusing to release monies for redundancy payments until the MUA formally drops its conspiracy case against the Federal Government and Minister Peter Reith.

The Administators of the Patrick labour hire companies are being forced to ask for extensions of time from the Federal Court beyond the statutory limits. There is also seperate legal action by the Melbourne Ports Corporation against picketing by prominent union officials and community members (including former Victorian Labor Premier Joan Kirner).

Source: Financial Review 23 July 1998

NFF Farmer recommends joining the union

Paul Houlihan, Gippsland Farmer, former National Farmers Federation industrial officer and a director of the NFF scab operation - P&C Stevedores, gave praise to the MUA at the International Employee Relations Association conference at Wollongong.
If I was working on the wharves, I would be a member of the MUA because there is no question that they have been an extraordinarily effective union.
At the same conference Ms Keri Spooner, a Management academic and president of the IERA, said that the waterfront dispute was symptomatic of a wider attack on the legitimacy of trade unionism and rights to collectively bargain. There appears to be a view in the community that these rights are not really that fundamental - not like slavery or child labour - no matter what the International Labour Organisation or the UN think.

Source: Financial Review 17 July 1998

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Last Modified : July 24, 1998