War on the Wharfies News Summary
June 98



News Summary - Monday 29 June

Peace Deal ratified by MUA members

The members of the Maritime Union in Sydney and Melbourne have ratified the agreement worked out between their officials and Patrick Stevedores. Discussions are continuing on the last, but significant obstacle to ratification of the deal - a withdrawal of legal action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

John Howard at workLast Friday the Government passed its Stevedoring Levy Bill to pay the expected redundancies (about $80 million), after the opposition by the Democrats in the senate collapsed. The legislation will impose a levy on all containers loaded by all stevedores, and works to the advantage of the large stevedoring companies and to the disadvantage of the smaller ones. The Federal Opposition used the levy debate to attack the Government's record on waterfront reform, calling on both the Prime Minister, John Howard, and the Minister for Workplace Relations, Peter Reith, to resign for misleading the Parliament.

Meanwhile, documents tabled in parliament last Wednesday further implicate and embarrass the Government. The documents show that:

ACTU assistant secretary, Greg Combet, said:
"They provide further extremely damaging evidence of the Government's complete involvement in an unlawful conspiracy to terminate the entire unionised workforce of Patrick.... It's the first documented evidence that the corporate restructuring undertaken by the Patrick group was part of a plan discussed with Government in elaborate detail as far back as 14 months ago."

In other news, Defence Minister, Ian McLachlan, admitted that Military premises were used to recruit the Dubai mercenaries. South News reported last Thursday 25 June that:

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) allowed a premises to recruit serving soldiers to train as industrial mercenaries in Dubai, the federal government admitted today.

Defence Minister Ian McLachlan said the ADF let Fynwest Pty Ltd use its Oakleigh Barracks in Victoria for the recruitment meeting on November 14 last year.

In a written answer to a question from opposition transport spokesman Lindsay Tanner, the minister said authority was given by the barracks commander for the meeting.

The Liberal/National Party government is eager to bury the fight against the Maritime Union as it faces rightwing populist Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party challenging for the conservative vote, and a tough battle trying to introduce the regressive Goods and Services Tax to a very cynical populace in a lead up to a very messy election campaign.

Financial Review 25Jun, 26Jun98 , South News 25Jun

Waterfront Peace Deal Summary

  • Patrick to pay union legal cost and wages lost since April. All Legal action dropped

  • No non-union labour

  • Twelve per cent pay rise over three years. Annual salary based on a 35-hour week with five-hour overtime component

  • Federal Government to provide $80 million to fund redundancies.

  • 628 MUA members to take voluntary redundancies. Core workforce in terminal and general stevedoring of 687 employees. Up to 100 supervisory employees to take redundancies

  • 200 jobs in maintenance, security cleaning and line marking to be contracted out. Redundant unionists able to re-apply for these jobs

South News June 16


News Summary - Monday 22 June

Will the Rank and File swallow the Deal

It looks like the M.U.A., Patrick, the Federal Government and the Legal Eagles have stitched a deal that will allow the M.U.A. to retain its labour monopoly on the wharves in exchange for over 600 redundancies and the dropping of all legal actions on both sides of the dispute. Although the M.U.A. leadership seem to have struck a deal on behalf of the wharfies, they still need to take that deal back to the rank and file for ratification.

Talking to some of Patrick's workers it seems that many of the rank and file are very unhappy about the extent of the voluntary redundancies and they're distressed about the dropping of the conspiracy case. The general feeling among Patrick's dock workers in Melbourne is that they want to continue the conspiracy case. They don't want to let Corrigan and Reith walk away from the dispute without paying the price for the pain and suffering they have put them through over the past four months.

Sources within the M.U.A. have confirmed that they are concerned that the rank and file will reject the deal that they have stitched up on their behalf. As far as the workers are concerned they don't want to let go of Corrigan's balls. While they hold them in their hands, Corrigan and Reith will keep dancing. As soon as the legal threat is removed they are concerned Patrick will go back on their agreement and will finish the job properly next time.

Anarchist Age weekly review Number 304


Sad, sad, sad. What else can you say about the fate of the National Farmers Federation wharf scabs. They were all fired last Tuesday. Their three year work place agreements not worth the paper they were written on. Listening to their tales of woe, I can't help thinking what else did they expect. As they walk meekly out of the gate of the National Farmers Federation Stevedoring arm they face a very bleak future.

Looking at both groups it's obvious even to blind Freddy that the scabs individual contracts are useless. About the only legal tender on any job site is a workers ability to organise and collectively bargain. As the scabs slink off trying to make a new life for themselves, let's hope they remember that old adage, united we stand, divided we fall.

Anarchist Age weekly review Number 304

Scab Workers Look Towards Unions - Collective Bargaining Praised

Extract from Herald Sun Wed June 17.

Sacked non-union staff urge revolt.
Offers of a $5000 severance bonus have failed to stem a revolt by non-union dock workers sacked yesterday by maverick stevedore PCS. Workers given notice of termination at a Webb Dock meeting yesterday vowed to fight for a better settlement - possibly through the courts. In an unexpected twist, previously gagged PCS workers said they were sorry for ousting MUA wharfies and urged all Australians to join a union. PCS's decision to dump most of its 360 staff across Australia came as Patrick and the MUA edged closer to a peace deal...

- Ex-military man Scott Daley, who was enlisted in the Dubai training scheme, said the episode proved Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA) did not protect workers - unions did. 'The union proved it, didn't they, stay as one and you will win anything,' he said.

- Derek Crerar left another job to take up stevedoring and bought a house on the promise of three years' work. 'My advice to everyone out there is join a union because the AWA is not safe, it's not worth the paper it's written on,' he said.

Herald Sun 17/6/98 via TOA Bulletin T98-24

MUA-Patrick deal: a great struggle faces betrayal

by Dick Nichols (Sourced from Leftlink)
Green Left Weekly 24 June 1998 issue The draft terms of settlement of the dispute between the Maritime Union of Australia and Patrick, released on The Age's web page, pose three questions point blank.

  1. How is it that the stirring fight of April-May -- with its mass pickets, inspiring international solidarity, triumphant return to work and severe loss of face by Howard and Reith -- could end up in such a miserable compromise?
  2. Miserable or not, is this deal the best that could have been done in the circumstances?
  3. If not, what should be done now?

First, it's clear the core of the deal is to preserve the MUA's coverage of the stevedoring industry at a huge price in terms of jobs, working conditions and, most importantly, ordinary MUA members' belief in their union.

True, the deal blocks the Howard government on a crucial point of its agenda for the waterfront (breaking the MUA), P&C Stevedores has been forced to sack its scab workforce and the Coalition is still to recover from the big political blows it took as its conspiracy with Corrigan and the NFF emerged.

But look at the sacrifices!

It's already becoming clear from mainstream media comment that many important big business players think that the clash with the MUA has turned out to be worth all the aggravation. The corporations look set to get cuts in waterfront staffing levels and speed-ups as great as those obtained through the Hawke-Keating WIRA reforms but at a fraction the cost to the budget -- $80 million as opposed to $450 million.

Also, the MUA may well be ``here to stay'', but it will be a tamer union, with fewer members with less belief in the union's pretensions to militancy. That will, in turn, further demoralise other unions and workers. It will further reinforce the near-universal sentiment that unions can't ask for "too much" and that even the Chris Corrigans of the world deserve a suitable profit.

Finally, it also betrays the massive outpouring of support for the MUA struggle, the sacrifices of those who stood on the picket lines in the rain, collected the money from other workers, argued the MUA's case with their friends over dinner, demanded that their politicians take a stand or simply sent in their messages of support to MUA HQ. Was it all for this "mess of pottage"?


So why such a meagre result? Some say that the problem was the decision to suspend the mass pickets once the courts had found the Patrick lockouts illegal. They argue that had these been maintained and the 100,000-strong turnout for May 6 in Victoria spread to the whole of Australia, then Corrigan and Reith would have been forced to retreat even further.

That's true enough. The increased turnout for May Day showed the potential to draw hundreds of thousands of workers into active support of the MUA and rejection of the Coalition industrial relations agenda. But why wasn't such action undertaken? The basic reason is that throughout the dispute the overriding concern of the central MUA leadership and the ACTU was the survival of the union and its coverage of the waterfront, as a partner with whom the waterfront bosses have to deal. That is, the basic problem was not one of industrial tactics, but of politics.

Once this coverage was guaranteed through the High Court's endorsement of Justice North's Federal Court decision, then the prime concern of the MUA leadership was to extract a deal that wouldn't see Patrick liquidated. If that happened, there would be no money with which to meet the entitlements of the sacked workers.

So, despite their momentary lapse into class-war rhetoric about "the jobs not being ours to give away", the MUA leaders never had any conception that the fight should continue in order to defend existing working conditions and jobs regardless of Patrick's profitability. If this had been their perspective they would have: made it clear to supporters of the union that they were being called upon to defend working conditions as well as coverage; maintained some form of picket line as a warning to Corrigan not to back out of serious negotiations; not been in a hurry to clear the backlog of containers; and kept the massive support base (e.g. a telephone tree of 30,000 in Melbourne alone) on alert.

None of this was done because the MUA and ACTU leadership had no perspective other than self-preservation -- within the existing industrial system. But that could only mean accepting Corrigan's "right" to an adequate return on investments through driving down wage levels, working conditions and entitlements.

That's how the great struggle of April produced the misery of June: that's how the mountain brought forth a mouse.

The alternative

Despite their bravado, the thought of Patrick in liquidation made the MUA leaders' blood run cold, leading them to accept proposals in June that were close to those they had had to reject in May. For example, Patrick's original offer was to rehire 600 workers in permanent positions and up to 200 in contract services: but the final settlement is hardly any better -- 687 permanents and 200 contracted out.

Yet the threat of liquidation was nothing to be scared about. The unions could have responded to it with escalating industrial action (even Bill Kelty kept telling the ACTU Executive a general strike was part of his grand plan to defend the MUA).

Imagine the impact if, on liquidation, the wharfies had occupied Patrick sites, with the union movement and the community providing financial, moral and physical support -- with ``peaceful assemblies'' this time protecting the working wharfies! How would the government have responded then? The army may have been brought in, but at what political price?

This is all the more true because the April mass pickets had the Howard, Kennett, Borbage and Court governments all in retreat. In that situation increased industrial pressure would have led to increased government pressure on Corrigan to settle with the MUA.

Now what?

MUA members simply don't have to accept this paltry deal. They should demand that their union and the ACTU reopen negotiations with Patrick, again put the solidarity movement on alert and press ahead with its conspiracy case against the very vulnerable Reith and Howard.

If the ACTU is wary about relaunching the fight in a pre-election period then the MUA should look for allies in those unions who were the real backbone of "peaceful assemblies" -- the CFMEU, the AMWU, the state branches of other unions like the ETU, the Victorian Trades Hall Council and the tens of thousands of rank-and-file unionists who rallied to the cause.

Indeed, now is exactly the time to reactivate that fighting alliance, when all unions are facing award stripping back and the CFMEU has already had two national stoppages on the issue.

The MUA can do a lot better, and it must. For it own members, for the rest of organised labour and for working people as a whole. Otherwise, a magnificent struggle will have been squandered, big capital will soon be one the warpath again demanding sacrifices of us all and Big Jim Healy will be turning in his grave.

[Dick Nichols is the National Industrial Organiser of the Democratic Socialist Party.] - This article is from Green Left Weekly


News Summary - Monday 15 June

Pragmatic Victory for Union - settlement still being negotiated

Negotiations are still continuing between Patrick and the MUA, and both sides are considering dropping legal action.

Some major concessions have been wrested from the union, including about 400 redundancies; outsourcing cleaning, maintenance and security functions; and management control of work rosters.

The Farmers appear to be packing up and going home, although they still need to deal with their disgruntled workforce who had signed Australian Workplace Agreements (individual contracts).

Peter Reith claimed that the government had achieved its aims by these reforms. Sounds like sour grapes doublespeak to me.

Is it a victory for the union and the union movement?
The goals of the government waterfront strategy and Patrick were to:

The union movement was able to defend the MUA from the incessant lies and attacks of the Government. Scab labour gained a brief foothold, but could not be maintained as a result of blockades by the MUA, the wider community, and solidarity actions overseas. Public opinion around the corporate scam and the conspiracy against the Maritime Union has effectively backfired on the Government.

Lang Corporation recorded a $26 million loss for the six months to the end of March, swinging from a previous $15 million profit. Since March, the company says it has abnormal losses of more than $13 million, in legal fees, security services and repair of damaged equipment, and traded poorly as a result of the dispute. Its my bet that the deal being brokered will make Patrick a nice little income earner for Chris Corrigan and Peter Scanlon.

So, the Governments union smashing agenda was stymied in this instance. Patricks is ending up with reform of work practices, redundancies, etc - just what it was after. P&O will certainly follow in their demands for a similar deal. The Stevedore companies will become more profitable.

Meanwhile, the union movement has gained a glimpse of its power in struggle. The dispute served to bring together and unite many disparate elements of the union movement and community activists.

It is an important victory for the Australian union movement, but it is a pragmatic victory nevertheless. Use of Court action was no doubt important for the union's bargaining position, but ultimately the battle was won on the picket lines around Australia by MUA members, other unionists, and members of the community who rallied to the union's cause. It was won by the 100,000 people who marched in Melbourne on May 6, by the dockers and community activists in Los Angeles who forced the Columbus Canada to return with its scab loaded cargo. It was won by each person who wrote a letter or called talkback radio or sent a protest fax via the internet.


News Summary - Saturday 13 June

Union Victory Close to hand

Negotiations between Patrick Stevedoring and Maritime Union officials appear to be close to a settlement. Both sides say they are on the verge of finalising a deal.

Maritime Union national secretary John Coombs said that he feels an agreement is close to being reached on redundancies, salaries, overtime and other work practices. "It's fair to say we've moved closer to perhaps an overall agreement... There's still a couple of issues to be finalised and maybe they can be finalised on Monday." Once a proposed agreement is reached with the company, the deal will be put to meetings of members across Australia for their ratification.

The deal will almost certainly include major concessions to the company. It is likely to include from 300 to 500 redundancies. However, the union's collective bargaining monopoly will be maintained, and true reform of work practices can continue through hard negotiation.

ABC 13/6/98

Australian Government called to account before ILO

The Federal Govgernment is being called before the International Labor Organisation's (ILO) Standards Committee to defend its Workplace Relations Act. This is the first time Australia has been required to attend such a forum.

The International Labor Organisation's expert committee has already found that the Workplace Relations Act is in breach of international treaty obligations. At the ILO's annual convention in Geneva union delegates from Japan and New Zealand, as well as Australia, have criticised the Act, while an Australian Government representative argued that it was inappropriate that the Government be required to appear.

ABC 13/6/98

After delays wharfies get some pay

Patricks did not deliver a cheque to the Administrator till 4.45pm on Thursday. However payments to workers could not be made on Friday because of a supposed computer hitch which delayed the processing of payroll details. Workers at Melbourne, Brisbane, Tasmania, Fremantle and Port Botany in Sydney were paid on Saturday while workers in Townsville and Darling Harbour in Sydney will not get paid until Monday.

This will be the first wages paid since returning to work over a month ago. Workers recieved about 60% of wages owed to them since April 8 when Patricks locked them out and attempted to bring in a non-union labour force.

ABC 13/6/98 HSV7 News 13/6/98

ACCC boycott legal action criticised by Judge

On Thursday Justice Tony North of the Federal Court accused the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission of wasting public money by continuing legal action against the union.

The Maritime Union of Australia has rejected responsibility for directly organising a boycott campaign and has agreed to write to the International Transport Federation (ITF) withdrawing any call for the ITF and its affiliates to boycott ships loaded by non-union labour in Australia.

The Age 12/6/98

Farmers organisation retreats from waterfront

In a major blow to the Governments strategy, the National Farmers Federation (NFF) backed P&C Stevedoring has abandoned its plan as a non-union stevedoring company. NFF Director James Ferguson admitted that the company's operation had been financed by several million dollars from the NFF fighting fund. Prime Minister, John Howard, paid tribute to the NFF for playing a "courageous hand". What more can you expect from a man that reacted with glee to the attempted dismissal of 2100 workers, via a corporate scam.

The Age 12/6/98

Los Angeles protest strong and load

Detailed report from the US is available.

A loud but peaceful assembly of unionists and community activists voiced strong protest over the anti-union policies of the Howard Government, especially as applied to the conspiracy to smash the Maritime Union of Australia. Over 100 people presented in person a written statement to an Australian Consular official in Los Angeles.

Favourite chants included: "MUA HERE TO STAY" and "HOWARD IS A COWARD". This protest is another excellent example of the power of the labour movement to work internationally to defeat attacks on workers.

Both the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Channel 7 covered the event, while local Los Angeles media were conspicuous by their absence.

Email to Takver, ABC 13/6/98 HSV7 News 13/6/98


News Summary - Wednesday 10 June

Union wins more time over bank objections

Tuesday 9 June. Over the objections of the banking consortium, a meeting of creditors of the four insolvent Patrick labour hire companies voted to adjourn for 6 weeks till July 20. The administrators used their casting vote to adjourn stating that the workers had more to lose than the banks which had other remedies to recover their debt if there was no resolution.

Wages are expected to be distributed this week after Patrick hands to the administrator about $5 million in fees for work done during the dispute. Wages will still be owed from work prior to April 8.

Patricks said productivity at its terminals had improved, with a 50 per cent increase on the Melbourne wharves compared with the levels before the dispute. There had also been an increase in Sydney.

In Newcastle, P&O used former Patrick workers to help load a vessel at the weekend, avoiding a confrontation over the use of Patrick men on any ships which have been sub-contracted to P&O by Patrick during the dispute.

In Western Australia, the Fremantle Port Authority has begun legal action against WA Opposition Transport spokesperson Alannah MacTiernan. FPA chairman Ron Aitkenhead said the legal action was being taken over statements made by Ms MacTiernan to the media on 7 May relating to the role of the FPA in the waterfront dispute.

The National Farmers Federation backed PCS group has approached at least two unions other than the MUA about agreements covering contracted staff at Patrick or at regional ports in another twist to the ongoing dispute. PCS is examining ways of securing a role on the waterfront if there is a negotiated settlement between Patrick and the MUA.

Picture: Cabinet Document on waterfront strategy For those interested, the governments secret waterfront strategy can be read in this Text file of the Cabinet-in-confidence strategy paper, dated 7 July 1997, which is also available on the South News website.

Meanwhile, on the west coast of North America the Harry Bridges Action Brigade reports that the Columbus Queensland arrived on Friday June 5 in the port of LA with no scab loaded cargo. "Since the Columbus Canada victory, the shipping companies have discharged their hot cargo rather than face anger mobs on the waterfront of the West Coast of the Americas"

(Source: Sydney Morning Herald 10Jun98, Daily Commercial News 10Jun98, South News 7Jun98, Harry Bridges Action Group)

Los Angeles Protest - Friday 12 June at 12 noon

A protest has been called outside the Australian Consulate in Los Angeles for next Friday, 12 June at 12 noon. The consulate is located on the 19th Floor of the Century Park Towers, 2049 Century Park East, between Olympic and Santa Monica Boulevard.

The community protest is being organised because

For further news please visit:
Harry Bridges Action Brigade   |    an ILWU Solidarity Page
The Cyber Picket Line has compiled a comprehensive list of Australian diplomatic missions - an essential resource for international solidarity!

ILWU Solidarity Webpage 5Jun98


News Summary - Friday 5 June

Leaked documents reveal Government conspiracy role

Reith's credibility savaged

A leaked Federal Cabinet document tabled in parliament by the Labor Party shows the role and intent of the Government in the conspiracy against the Maritime Union of Australia. The document, dated 7 July 1997, was signed by the then Minister of Transport, John Sharp, and the Minister for Workplace Relations, Peter Reith. It recommended that the Government take an activist role in assisting stevedores who wanted to use an industrial dispute to dismiss their union workforce. "The Government's role will be to "set the scene', to facilitate changes that the stevedore(s) and others wish to make and to give them the political and regulatory tools to get their businesses working again as quickly as possible in the event of industrial action."

Flowchart: Reporting structure of Government waterfront strategy It also proposed setting up a task force with the aim of assisting the employers and to identify how the Government could help on matters such as "legal assistance, physical security, access pilots to tugs, visas, etc". Public and business opinion on waterfront reform would be managed by the government.

In Federal Parliament on Thursday Peter Reith repeatedly refused to answer a question in regards to his lies and deceptions to parliament. A month ago Peter Reith replied to a question about his knowledge of Patrick's plans, "We were not aware of any decision taken by Mr Corrigan to replace his workforce and in respect of the overseas training in Dubai; the fact of that was simply news to us until it was publicly exposed."

A defiant Prime Minister said in question time: "I make no apology at all for the activist strategy we followed because that strategy was designed to boost the productivity of the Australian waterfront." The Prime Minister obviously has had a major role in the Government strategy and with his ministers should also be held responsible for the breaking of its own Workplace Relations Act. The governments waterfront strategy makes a mockery of the new Liberal election slogan which John Howard has been articulating - "safety, security and stability". Safety is a legal system weighted against workers and unions and collective bargaining. Security is sending black clad security forces to invade workplaces with attack dogs and mace. And stability is knowing that your employer can get rid of you through a corporate scam, while robbing you of wages due, termination payments, medical fund deductions, superannuation, and even taxation payments (which you are still liable for).

This leaked report follows hard on the heels of a memo from the Government's senior waterfront consultant, Dr Stephen Webster, dated September 21, 1997, to Mr Sharp, headed "Timing of reform". This document was tabled at a Senate Estimates committee over the objections of the Liberal Party members. In the document Webster advises Sharp that "I had further discussions with Corrigan on Friday. It appears that the training times can be advanced and a late January implementation would be possible. Corrigan is heading to Europe on 1st October. He would need to have an indication by then so he can reactivate the training bookings."

It is further confirmation of the plan by Patrick Stevedores' to train a non-union workforce as part of a strategy to help break the Maritime Union's grip on the waterfront. Again it implicates a relevant Minister and senior advisor.

Sydney Morning Herald 4Jun98 - 5Jun98

Corrigan still defiant

At an international shipping conference in Sydney, Patrick boss, Chris Corrigan threatened to withdraw from general cargo handling and to concentrate on container depots through a program of automation to replace wharfies with a "small number of computer operators", if substantial conditions are not given up by the union.

These threats were met with scepticism by industry sources and the union. Patrick already has a high debt ratio, and the position of Australian container terminals at the end of feeder routes does not ideally suit automation of our container depots.

It was also revealed and confirmed by the Howard Government that it had provided research and development funding to encourage the development of automation in the stevedoring industry. A R&D grant for Sydney University was being matched dollar for dollar by Patrick Stevedores was approved last October by the Government's R&D board.

Financial Review 3Jun98

Legal twists favour the Maritime Union

Discussions between Patrick and the Maritime Union of Australia are continuing... In the latest legal twist, the MUA was successful in having Justice Tony North appointed to hear legal action instigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission against the MUA over secondary boycotts. Justice North is also hearing the conspiracy case against Patrick and the Government and a related claim by Patrick against the union.

The Patrick company appears to be under growing pressure from its major creditor, a consortium of banks, which is understood to be furious about a deal struck on Wednesday between the MUA and the administrators of the four labour hire companies to keep trading next week.

Daily Commercial News 4Jun98, Sydney Morning Herald 5Jun98

International support for union continues

A protest has been called outside the Australian Consulate in Los Angeles for next Friday, 12 June at 12 noon. The consulate is located on the 19th Floor of the Century Park Towers, 2049 Century Park East, between Olympic and Santa Monica Boulevard.

The community protest is being organised because

For further news please visit:
Harry Bridges Brigade   |    an ILWU Solidarity Page
The Cyber Picket Line has compiled a comprehensive list of Australian diplomatic offices around the world for international protests.

ILWU Solidarity Webpage 5Jun98


News Summary - Monday 1 June

P&O deals a blow to Government union busting

P&O Ports ruled out the use of non-union dock workers trained by PCS Stevedores on the wharves and making clear it would not be forced into using non-unionists at its terminals.

Richard Hein, P&O managing director, indicated he still supported the Government's reform benchmarks and its $250 million redundancy scheme. But his words provide a warning to the Government not to make redundancy money contingent on ending the closed shop. P&O have the funds for redundancies of their own workers, so they are not dependant on the Government fund.

While warning the Government on one hand, the company launched a contempt of court action against the MUA and senior officials in Newcastle and Adelaide, claiming they had breached Supreme Court injunctions granted last month. Damages could be as high as $500,000 to cover alleged loss of stevedoring work.

Meanwhile, further negotiations with Patrick have been continuing. It was reported that pressure for a settlement of the Conspiracy Case is finely balanced against the pressure from some parts of the union to pursue the case and the chance to win millions of dollars in damages.

Sydney Morning Herald 2/6/98

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