Who is who in the War on the Wharfies

This is a listing of many of the more prominent players in the rightwing union busting attack on the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). Most of these entries have been collated from the news summaries on the War on the Wharfies webpage. Any corrections or additions can be emailed to: Takver@onaustralia.com.au for consideration.

April 1, 1998

Picture: Chris Corrigan       Picture: John Coombs       Picture: Minister Peter Reith       Picture: Jennie George
Chris Corrigan, John Coombs, Peter Reith, Jennie George


The Union camp

The Dubai dealers in subterfuge

The National Farmers Federation & P & C Stevedores

Right wing Consultants and Strategists

Employers & Business Associations

Government Corporations & Authorities

Politicians (Federal and State)

The Stevedoring Companies


The Union camp

Greg Combet. Assistant Secretary Australian Council of Trade Unions. (ACTU)

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) says it has obtained CES documents proving P and C Stevedores would disqualify applicants if they refused to cross union picket lines. The ACTU has also confirmed that former Dubai trainees, now employed with P and C are still on the payroll of Fynwest, the recruiting company for the Dubai exercise.

Greg Combet, an ACTU assistant secretary, said "We want to bring it to the attention of the community and we'd like the questions to be answered. And most particularly: what's the relationship between the NFF operation at Webb Dock and the Dubai fiasco and who's paying the money for these things?" (ABC - March 24)

Australian Council of Trade Unions

Jennie George. President Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)

Picture: Jennie GeorgeTold a rally of union delegates on February 10 that "there is no industrial dispute but a political conspiracy to smash one of Australia's strongest unions. It's a conspiracy that involves the Federal Government the State Kennett Government, operatives in the Liberal Party and of course the unknown, unnamed backers of the Dubai fiasco and last but not least that famous union-busting operation, the NFF." On Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith, Ms George said he should be called "the Minister for Confrontation....who lies about the conditions of the wharfies" Further, that "he set out to either deregister the MUA, bankrupt the union, or sack the entire workforce on the wharves." She summed up by saying "the rule of law is being perverted".

Australian Council of Trade Unions

John Coombs. National Secretary Maritime Union of Australia (MUA)

Picture: John CoombsMr John Coombs, the MUA national secretary, claimed that as the Webb Dock dispute began, two of the Dubai recruits approached him and claimed they had transcripts of discussions or negotiations with Government staffers about "how this project would unfold, what was required of them and what the ultimate objective was". Mr Coombs said that the men had told him that "the meetings occurred where they were in one room on a telephone talking to a Government staffer in another room ..." He believed that whoever was prepared to put up $5.6 million could have the full story on Dubai. (March 10)

MUA Website

Vic Slater. Assistant national secretary of the MUA

Said "They are trying to provoke us into taking illegal action. They want to force us to take unprotected action, force us out the gates and then slap the writs on. Well we know better than that." (March 20)

MUA Website

Mick O'Leary. National organiser MUA

"Toyota have approached us through the ACTU. We felt that it was not our intention to, in any way, damage Toyota. We've worked out an arrangement that is acceptable to all the parties and those cars will be coming out of there this afternoon." (Feb 7)

MUA Website

Col Davies. Brisbane Branch Secretary MUA

In Brisbane, over 400 Maritime workers stopped work for four hours. Branch Secretary, Col Davies said "The members, especially the members from Patrick, are absolutely incensed at [Patrick chairman Chris] Corrigan's continued confrontationalist approach and the lies. And it now comes to the fore that at one stage he was contemplating sacking the entire workforce." (Source: ABC Feb 10)

MUA Website

Glen Wood. Organiser MUA

Said Patrick had asked 15 casual workers to work yesterday. "They call them up, allow them to do a full day's work and then turn around and refuse to pay them. It's criminal." (March 24)

MUA Website

Leigh Hubbard. Victorian Trades Hall secretary.

said "For the trade union movement this fight is as crucial a fight as we've ever had in our lives and we plan to see it through all the way," (Feb 10)

Keef Marges. International Transport Workers' Federation, Dockers Secretary

Warned ship owners their vessels would be worth "scrap" if the new stevedoring firm being set up by the National Farmers Federation used non-union labor to handle their cargo.

ITF Website

Sam Wood. Acting national secretary of the Australian Workers Union

Reiterated his union's willingness to close down the oil industry in Australia if mass redundancies or sackings of wharfies occurrs with the assistance of the Government. (ABC April 3)

Jane Singleton Pty Ltd.

The Maritime Union Public Relations Agency.


The Dubai dealers in subterfuge

International Port Services Training Group Pty Ltd. - The Dubai training company

The secret training will be carried out in Dubai by this company under Wells and Kilfoyle.

Fynwest Pty Ltd. Company that employed the Dubai mercenaries

The shadowy company which employed the Dubai mercenaries, Fynwest Pty Ltd., was offering individual employment contracts (Australian Workplace Agreements) under Peter Reith's Workplace Relations Act.

Mike Wells. Director of Fynwest P/L.

A highly decorated Vietnam war veteran, former SAS Commando. Partner Peter Kilfoyle.

Peter Kilfoyle. Director of Fynwest P/L.

A crowd control security guard, former SAS Commando. Partner Mike Wells.

Marc Faber. Hong Kong based investor. Financial Colleague of Chris Corrigan.

A revelation from these court proceedings was that the financial agent involved in setting up the Dubai debacle was the prominent Hong Kong-based investor, Marc Faber. Mr Faber has confirmed he was representing a group of companies which he no longer has an interest in since their attempts failed. He has refused to comment any further. (Source: ABC Feb 12)


The National Farmers Federation & P & C Stevedores

National Farmers Federation (NFF)

Sometimes known as - Not Family Farms - because of the prominence of wealthy landowners and Agricultural and Pastoral Companies.
How representative is the NFF ?
How are the board elected ?
When is the board elected ?
For what term ?

(NFF home page says NO farmers are members - only organisations....

can a farmer sit on the council ?
can a farmer attend council meetings ? AGM's ?

NFF Home page says they represent 120,000 "farm enterprises" - as far as I can find out, there were 124,000 "farm businesses" in 1992... (over $20,000 revenue) So does the NFF really represent almost every farmer ?)

National Farmers' Federation - NFF

Andrew Robb. Former NFF executive director

At the time of the Mudginberri dispute in 1985, the executive director of the NFF was Andrew Robb, later to be the federal director of the Liberal Party; he figured prominently in "Honest" John Howard's 1996 election campaign.

Don McGauchie. Chairman of P&C Stevedores. President of the NFF

National Farmers Federation President Don McGauchie has decided to concentrate in his role as union smasher as chairman of P and C Stevedoring and will not stand for another term as NFF president. That includes plans to begin operations at another eastern seaboard port with non-union labour by May. "We are clearly interested in spreading the operation as wide as we can nationally. To make it an effective operation we need to have a number of strings to our bow, and we're looking at those sort of opportunities." He made no comment on the involvement of Chubb Security. (March 17)

National Farmers' Federation - NFF

Paul Houlihan. Director of P&C Stevedores, a former industrial director of the NFF, former right-wing Union Secretary

One of the directors of P&C Stevedores, one of the group of three companies set up by the NFF to attack the waterfront unions.

As an NFF industrial relations strategist was credited as the architect of the defeat of the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union during the landmark Mudginberri meat workers dispute in 1985. Before his switch to the employer ranks he had been Tasmanian state secretary of the right-leaning Federated Clerks Union, so he came to the NFF with a strategic insight to union politics.

As the organiser of a December 1995 conference on waterfront reform, Mr Houlihan urged management to strengthen its resolve and not panic at the prospect of a fight. He told managers at all levels of stevedoring to keep their eyes open for potential confrontation. "You have to walk straight through a work ban ... You've got to stand there and say, 'When push turns to shove, we can look after you'.''

National Farmers' Federation - NFF

James Ferguson. NFF industrial director. P&C Stevedores director of industrial relations

In September 1997 James Ferguson said the organisation regarded waterfront reform as an absolute priority, and had canvassed a range of options with the Government, including the use of servicemen to keep the docks operating during a strike.

As P&C Stevedores director of industrial relations James Ferguson said sending the union broke would be third prize in the bid to achieve genuine waterfront reform. "If the MUA close P&C Stevedores down by the use of illegal strike action, by the use of primary or secondary boycotts, by international conspiracies to prevent us from winning customers, If we go broke as consequence of union action then the full cost of the exercise will sheeted firmly home to those who are responsible for that failure." (Source: ABC Feb 26)

National Farmers' Federation - NFF

Michael Cusack. P&C Stevedores employee.

Mr Scougall was told by a P&C Stevedores employee, Mr Michael Cusack, "the NFF have millions of dollars and we want to get the MUA into court and tie them up there for a year and break them". (March 1)

Rick Farley NFF executive director

NFF executive director Rick Farley summarised: "The dividing line changed from National-Liberal versus Labor to the free marketeers versus everybody else".

National Farmers' Federation - NFF

Wendy Craik. NFF executive director

National Farmers' Federation - NFF

Michael Hanlon. Team Manager of the army personnel sent to Dubai. P&C Stevedores Employee

The National Farmers Federation has hired the team manager of the former army personnel involved in the aborted Dubai scheme to work at the rebel P&C Stevedores at Melbourne's Webb Dock. (The Age Feb 26)

Lucas Rene. Non-union employee of P&C Stevedoring who blew the whistle on training at Webb Dock

An experienced watersider and non-union employee of P&C Stevedoring who resigned after experiencing the training being given by P&C Stevedoring. Mr Rene said, "any ship owner would be mad to allow his ship to go in there as they really had no idea of what they were doing". (March 1)

Richard Scougall. Non-union employee of P&C Stevedoring who blew the whistle on training at Webb Dock

An experienced watersider and non-union employee of P&C Stevedoring who resigned after experiencing the training being given by P&C Stevedoring. Mr Scougall said the tests "were a complete sham and of no real value to any authority". He said he was told on several occasions that the operation was intended to break the MUA. Mr Scougall was told by a P&C Stevedores employee, Mr Michael Cusack, "the NFF have millions of dollars and we want to get the MUA into court and tie them up there for a year and break them". (March 1)

Jamie Meek. A young trainee at Webb Dock who blew the whistle on Patrick's plan to sack its workforce

Mr Jamie Meek, a young trainee at Webb Dock for the last 8 days, told Channel 7 that trainees were informed that Patrick's planned to sack its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle workers. The MUA's national organiser, Mr Michael O'Leary, said Mr Meek had been told he and other recruits were being trained to work for Patrick "after Easter". Mr Meek said that when he tried to leave the NFF operation to go to the union, he was taken to a hotel and threatened, and threats were made against his family. Mr Jamie Meek also claims the Federal Government was to fund termination payouts to Patrick's sacked workers. (Source: Channel 7, ABC, Sydney Morning Herald March 31)


Right wing Consultants and Strategists

David Trebeck. Former NFF deputy director. Acil Economics Consultancy

Helped form the NFF organisation's economic policies in 1977 and led it down the reform road until 1985. He then moved to the Liberal Party's federal policy unit as director, but stayed only two years until the party's third successive defeat in the 1987 federal election.

In a 1986 newspaper guide to the new right he was listed as a supporter of the H. R. Nicholls society and the author of a Liberal document that, once leaked to government, was tabled in Parliament to the embarrassment of John Howard, who was then Opposition Leader. It named prominent businessmen and journalists who would have to be "neutralised'' if the Opposition was to successfully market its new and radical industrial relations policy.

In 1997 the first of two outside projects was a $60,000 contract that overran to $80,000. It was let to Trebeck's Acil Economics, with a sub-contract awarded to Houlihan, to ask key industry groups for their views on waterfront reform and provide Sharp with a strategy for implementation.

A second contract with a $600,000 ceiling was awarded to Acil in June without going through the normal tendering procedures. The Senate committee was told that Sharp ordered the contract without tender on advice from the department that Acil would be further developing its previous task.

Greg Bondar. Executive director of the Australian Chamber of Shipping. Advisor to Transport Minister John Sharp.

Transport Minister Sharp brought over Greg Bondar, executive director of the Australian Chamber of Shipping, as his maritime and shipping adviser.

Mark Textor. Liberal Party Pollster. Australian Research Strategies.

As part of the Acil project, the department paid $42,000 to Australian Research Strategies, a company run by Liberal Party pollster Mark Textor, and then let another, as yet uncosted, contract to Canberra Liaison, a company run by long-standing Liberal election strategist Johnathon Gaul.

Johnathon Gaul. Liberal election Strategist - Canberra Liason.

As part of the Acil project, the Transport Department contracted to Canberra Liaison, a company run by long-standing Liberal election strategist Johnathon Gaul.

Dr Stephen Webster. Former adviser to Liberal Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock and to former Tasmanian Liberal Premier Robin Gray.

The Government commissioned a series of predominantly Melbourne-based consultants, academics and legal firms to produce "effective and durable waterfront reform and provide advice on how to achieve it". The contracts cost the taxpayer a further $480,000, which Sharp sanctioned, again without putting them out for tender. The project was carried out under the leadership of Stephen Webster. Dr Webster was paid $95,000 for his work, but others he recruited, also without tender, were paid even more.

The big legal firms Minter Ellison and Corrs Chambers Westgarth were paid $151,000 and $90,000 respectively. Minter Ellison, it is understood, provided an extensive report after a legal review of the Workplace Relations Act and its key anti-union weapon, the secondary boycott provisions.

The Webster contracts were concluded on 3 October, two days before Peter Reith assumed responsibility for waterfront reform.

Nicholas Finney OBE - British Docks Union busting strategist

Nicholas Finney was one of the principal driving forces behind the abolition of the National Dock Labour Scheme in the UK in 1989. This revolutionised the organisation of labour on the British waterfront virtually `overnight' and in the face of a national strike of waterside workers.

The Proceedings of a Conference of the H.R. Nicholls Society held in Melbourne September 15,1990

http://www.exhibit.com.au/cgi-bin/mfs/03/nichvol9/vol97bac.htm#Vol 9-7:

Back to the Waterfront - Nicholas Finney OBE


Employers & Business Associations

Pastoralists and Graziers Association

President is Barry M. Court, brother to the Liberal Party Premier. 60 farmers from throughout Western Australia have converged on Fremantle Port to develop a better relationship with the Maritime Union. The Pastoralists and Graziers Association hopes the two groups can create a relationship based on consultation rather than confrontation.

(Source: ABC March 19)

Western Australian Farmers Federation

Has been critical of the NFF attitude

Grain Council

Whose constituency is worried that the NFF should provoke a dispute at the most crucial time of the year for grain exports. Waterfront reform has already increased waterfront productivity for bulk grain handlers.

Elders-IXL. Agribusiness

Agribusiness which operate abattoirs and processing plants, and rural properties throughout Australia.

One of the companies John Elliott, wealthy businessman and Liberal Party heavy wieght, is heavily involved in. Ian McLachlan, Defence Minister, is a member of the board of Elders-IXL, which is one of the largest employers of rural labour.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. General employers association

Pledged support to Patrick Stevedores. (AFR March 26)

Australian Meat Council. The meat industry employers association

Pledged support to Patrick Stevedores. (AFR March 26)

Australian Chamber of Shipping. The ship ownerrs association

Pledged support to Patrick Stevedores. (AFR March 26). Former Transport Minister Sharp brought over Greg Bondar, executive director of the Australian Chamber of Shipping, as his maritime and shipping adviser.

John Blanchfield. Queensland operations manager Chubb Security

Chubb Security confirmed its Queensland operations manager, Mr John Blanchfield, was at the farmers' stevedoring operation at Webb Dock in Melbourne but denied he was preparing for a repeat exercise in Brisbane. (March 13)

Mr Frank Beaufort. Executive president, Australian Peak Shippers Association

APSA's executive president, Mr Frank Beaufort, said the problems at Patrick were self-inflicted. Their relations with the union are most unlikely ever to be restored. We see the dispute at Patrick going on and on until Patrick get out of the industry and it will be left to someone else to take over. There will be continuous disruptions at the Patrick terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, and possibly Brisbane and Fremantle. We have been advising our members to have nothing to do with shipping lines that call at Patrick's terminals. Our advice is that they should support shipping lines using the P&O Ports terminals. Like sharks in a feeding frenzy, Beaufort was visciously attacked by Corrigan and Reith for these comments.(Source: Australian Financial Review March 25)

Lindsay Fox. Chairman of LinFox, Trucking company

The transport company, Linfox, is considering setting up a stevedoring company on the waterfront, using a new workforce of union members to compete against Patrick and P&O Ports. Mr Fox said Linfox had been negotiating with the Maritime Union of Australia about the proposal, and the company's new employees would be union members. "We're looking at a greenfield approach. It would be a new workforce....From a transport perspective, there is a huge opportunity to get rid of four or five links in the chain and have one or two between the shipping companies and whoever is handling the land-based containers." Linfox is not interested in buying out Patrick at this stage as Lindsay Fox reckons $400 million is a gross overvaluation.

(The Age - March 27)


Government Corporations & Authorities

Australian National Line (ANL)

Government owned fleet of ships under the Australian Flag.

Greg Martin. Sydney Ports Authority chief executive officer.

Mr Greg Martin, said net crane rates at Port Botany and Sydney Harbour were the second best in Australia in the December quarter. This was in refutation of Chris Corrigan who claimed "This is about the worst-performing port anywhere in the world. You're looking at it here today in total inactivity, but even when it's working this is the worst port in the world." (March 13)

Professor Allan Fels. Chairman of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Seen as soft on employers and business practices, while highly critical of union solidarity action. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has requested details of the agreement between Patrick Stevedores and the farmer-backed PCS company, arising from revelations in the Industrial Relations Commission of restrictions in the non-union commercial stevedoring operation. (Feb 13)

Industrial Relations Commission (IRC)

Vice president, John Ross, found that Kevin Whiteway, the Melbourne Manager of Patricks, had misled employees and union officials as to his knowledge of the dealings with the NFF over Webb Dock. However, the vice president was unable to conclude that Patrick's started a lock-out, alleged by the union. The decision also states Patrick's created confusion among its workforce as the company contravened an agreed dispute resolution process. (Source: ABC Feb 9)


Politicians (Federal and State)

Peter Reith. Minister for Workplace Relations and Small Business. (Minister for Industrial Warfare)

Picture: Minister Peter ReithPeter Reith, in one of his first moves in office in March last year, appointed Houlihan from the NFF to a small taskforce to draft the Workplace Relations Act, the legislative implement promoting the use of non-union labor that the Government hopes to use.

John Howard. Prime Minister. ("Honest" John)

Gave the Guest of Honour's Address to The Proceedings of a Conference of the H.R. Nicholls Society held in Sydney on March 9 -11,1990

http://www.exhibit.com.au/cgi-bin/mfs/03/nichvol8/vol87gue.htm#Vol 8-7:

Guest of Honour's Address - The Hon JW Howard

Ian McLachlan. Defence Minister, former NFF president.

Was only partly talking with tongue in cheek when, as a former NFF president, he said: "The National Farmers Federation never loses anyone, it just relocates them.''

McLachlan had direct interests at stake as a member of the board of Elders-IXL, which was the largest employer of rural labour at the time.

McLachlan, along with friends Andrew Hay and John Elliott, in the mid-1980s promoted a flat rate income tax, a lower tax rate for companies, a deregulated labour market, abolition of market controls and a 5% cut per year in public service expenditure.

McLachlan himself has significant landholdings in NSW and South Australia. His cousin Hugh MacLachlan is the largest private landholder and wool producer in the country. His empire covers some 5 million hectares, encompassing some 30 properties.

Peter Costello, Federal Treasurer. H R Nicholls Society joint founder.

Formerly was a lawyer often used by the NFF in the 1980s in Union busting Federal and High Court cases. Has actively contributed to conferences organised by the Right wing H.R. Nicholls Society.


("Legal Remedies Against Trade Union Conduct in Australia" Peter Costello)

John Sharp. Former Transport Minister.

Until his fall from grace in the travel rorts affair in 1997, the former Transport Minister John Sharp was the farmers' political torchbearer. As the local National Party member in the fine-wool growing area around Goulburn, NSW, Mr Sharp has an electoral as well as an ideological commitment to waterfront reform. In the run-up to the last federal election the coalition promised to deliver a 25 per cent cut in port costs and, as soon-to-be transport minister, Sharp said: "We will break the grip that the Maritime Union of Australia has on the waterfront."

Rob Borbidge. Queensland National Party Premier

Rob Borbidge has invited the National Farmers Federation to set up a non-unionised stevedoring operation in Brisbane. Rob Borbidge is trying to inflame the confrontation between the Maritime Union and Patricks to use against the Labor opposition in a likely state election this year.

Santo Santoro. Queensland Industrial Relations Minister

Mr Santoro said that any assistance to the NFF will be forthcoming. "The Queensland Government is certainly very keen to help them in whatever way possible. There will be further discussions, and details of any assistance may be announced as we work our way through." (ABC April 3)

Rob Maclellan. Victorian Planning Minister

The Planning Minister has confirmed that planning permission was not sought or granted for the P&C Stevedoring operation at Webb Dock. Planning regulations show permits are required for the venture. (Feb 14)

Victorian State Government

Lindsay Tanner. Labor opposition spokesman on transport

Questioned the role of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chief, Professor Allan Fels, saying that little had been heard from him on the duopoly of stevedores but that "as things started to hot up, the trades practices implications of the activities of the union, not the companies, appeared to concern him deeply". (Source: Sydney Morning Herald Feb 17)

Gareth Evans. Deputy Federal Labor leader

Attacked Minister Reith: "Mr Reith's protestations of ignorance about the Dubai affair, ignorance about all the subterranean manoeuvrings last year to set up the conditions for a major brawl on the waterfront, his denials of involvement in all of that are ringing increasingly hollow." (Feb 10)

Eric Charlton. WA Transport Minister

Western Australian Transport Minister Eric Charlton has invited the National Farmers Federation (NFF) to setup in Fremantle. Mr Charlton is about to grant wharf monopoly rights to a company in Dampier, and do away with the firm which has functioned successfully there for 20 years. (ABC - April 3)

Allanah MacTiernan. WA State Labor Opposition Transport spokeswoman

State Labor Opposition Transport spokeswoman, Allanah MacTiernan, said Mr Charlton is purely and simply a union basher. "He is out there competing for the Peter Reith elephant stamp for having done the most towards destroying any sort of union organisation on the waterfront." (ABC - April 3)


The Stevedoring Companies

Lang Corporation. Patrick's parent company

Chris Corrigan - managing director. Chris Corrigan's primary personal investment with 3.7 million shares. Directors include Corrigan, Peter Scanlon, and Gilles Kryger. Peter Scanlon's Brencorp group owns 15.4 per cent of Lang. Other shareholders include National Australia Bank (10 percent), AMP (7.3 percent), Permanent Trustee Company (5.2 percent), Hambros Hopkins (9.9 percent). Lang Corp is underwritten by loans from Citibank, Bankers Trust and ANZ Bank. Considerable fund investments from Hambros Hopkins, Bankers Trust, National Mutual, County NatWest, Axiom. At current share price (March 26) Lang's equity is worth $200 million, plus roughly $200 million debt. A takeover would cost in the region of $400 million plus.

Financial commentators believe Lang is worth more "dead than alive" if bankrupted, as the state of the art equipment from a recent massive investment program could be handed on to another company without the legacy of workplace agreements. But first the Maritime Union needs to be destroyed so that any new venture can drive down employment conditions through non-union contract labour. (AFR March 26)

Shares in Lang Corporation, the parent company of Patrick, fell sharply by 10%, until trading was suspended by the Australian Stock Exchange. The Maritime Union allege that Mr Corrigan's comments were part of a strategy to replace the company's unionised workforce. Mr Coombs denied the union wanted to bankrupt Patrick. "Of course, it's not what we want, but it seems it's just part of his strategy... Corrigan's strategy was to get his company in a position where he could sell it, minus the workforce, and it would treble the value of the company. We still believe he is going to sack the workforce."

(The Age, Australian Financial Review March 27)

Peter Scanlon. Director of Lang Corporation

The federal Minister for Workplace Relations, Mr Peter Reith, confirmed that he held talks about the waterfront with businessman Mr Peter Scanlon (former right-hand man to John Elliott at Elders, and current director of Lang Corporation, parent company of Patrick stevedores) before Christmas last year.

A reporter from The Age approached Mr Scanlon about whether he had any involvement in the Webb Dock or Dubai disputes. Mr Scanlon, through a spokesman, denied having talks with the Government about waterfront reform, or any role in funding the NFF operation, donating to the NFF fighting fund, and assisting any of the parties involved in the dispute.

Patrick Stevedoring. Nation's largest stevedoring operation

Chairman - Chris Corrigan, former merchant banker. Parent company is Lang Corporation

Sub-leased part of Webb Dock facility to the P&C Stevedoring Group, run by NFF officials.

Patrick - The Australian Stevedore

Chris Corrigan. Chairman of Patrick and Lang Corp

Picture: Chris CorriganFormer merchant banker, Mr Corrigan and the National Farmers Federation were involved in a non union meatworks in New South Wales in 1995, which employed 60 people under woeful conditions and closed within a year.

Alan Knight former Patrick line manager

Documents provided to the ACTU show lost productivity at Patricks due to the layout of the Patrick terminal and increased crane breakdowns because of the lack of a proper maintenance program. The documents are correspondence and memos from former line manager Alan Knight who resigned from Patrick about five weeks ago.(Source: ABC Feb 27)

Don Smithwick. Patrick Stevedoring Director

The director responsible for general stevedoring said the company had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the dispute.

Kevin Whiteway. Melbourne manager of Patrick

The Melbourne manager of Patrick, Mr Whiteway, conceded that he lied to workers about his previous knowledge regarding the National Farmers Federation sub-lease. (Source: ABC Feb 9)

The Industrial Relations Commission vice president, John Ross, found that Kevin Whiteway had misled employees and union officials as to his knowledge of the dealings with the NFF over Webb Dock. However, the vice president was unable to conclude that Patrick's started a lock-out, alleged by the union. The decision also states Patrick's created confusion among its workforce as the company contravened an agreed dispute resolution process.

Captain Jim Sweetenson. Former Manageing Director of Australian Stevedores, predecessor to Patrick Stevedores

Claimed that a plan to shift assets out of employing companies in the group had been considered in 1994 during a dispute at Darling Harbour in Sydney. Captain Sweetenson told ABC radio AM program that the plan had been put to the board by its chairman, Chris Corrigan. The proposal was "that we then transfer the assets out of the company that employed the labour and owned the assets, so that would just leave the labour in a company on its own. ... The reason ... was that if ever we had to take drastic action at Darling Harbour - terminate all the employees - that there would be no assets there ... that would be able to be realised to pay redundancies..." (Financial Review April 1)

KSK Contractors Pty Ltd.

Bruce Studley Townsend - sole director. Supplier of contract labor and hired by Patrick stevedores to supply non-union labor on Australia's eastern seaboard wharves.

The Tasmanian-based contractor has spent the past two months secretly holed up in the Rydges Hotel in Exhibition Street Melbourne, working first for the farmer-backed rebel P&C stevedoring company, and now Patrick.

The Maritime Union have claimed that Townsend has had the Maritme Union under electronic surveillance.

From the Age:

Three years ago Townsend was hired by a meat company to "consult" with it during a bargaining dispute at its Rockhampton plant. Union officials say he was an active infiltrator of union meetings and picket lines, trying to urge workers to cross the line.

His performance came under notice, with even Senator Kim Carr making this observation in Parliament: "Given the voracity of Mr Townsend and his team for taping and recording, it might not be surprising to learn that the Arbitration Commission has moved its hearings from the plant to the local courthouse."

(Source: The Age 10 April 1998)

FBIS Security company.

Run by a former Victorian chief police commissioner, Mr Kel Glare, and hired by Patrick Stevedores.

Union officials on Sunday 1 February discovered a 1970s Ford Falcon, loaded with riot shields, parked near Gem Pier in Williamstown. Guards were last week seen boarding boats at the pier to transport them to the Webb Dock site, avoiding protesters. The MUA official who found the shields, Mr Michael O'Leary, said they were discovered after a tip-off from a source who said they were lent to FBIS by the Office of Corrections. Unions said yesterday the shields were evidence of State Government involvement in the Webb Dock non-union labor push.

P&O Ports

Foreign owned Stevedoring operation with depots in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide. Managing director, Mr Richard Hein, said his company would not try to take advantage of Patrick while it was in dispute with the union. (AFR March 26)

Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL)

Under the original plan of action, the Federal Government undertook the destruction of the MUA while it left the Victorian Government to reform the stevedore industry. To Canberra's annoyance the anointed third terminal operators, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), forged a "groundbreaking" agreement with the union.

The Kennett Government in Victoria blew its negotiations with the Hong Kong shipping group out of the water, and OOCL opened negotiations with New South Wales, where the Carr Government has no objections to the MUA.


Foreign owned Container company with a depot in Adelaide. Geg Combet of the ACTU commented in the Australian Financial Review on 1st April 1998: " the more efficient SeaLand terminal in Adelaide is characterised by regular management/union discussion - in the workplace - of the profit and loss account and ways of improving the business. SeaLand general manager Andy Andrews recently accused Patrick of blaming the union as a smokescreen for Patrick's own poor management."

Andy Andrews, the head of SeaLand, has blasted Peter Reith for his derogatory comments made against SeaLand on the ABC 7.30 report. SeaLand runs a container terminal in Adelaide, South Australia. Peter Reith dismissed SeaLand's productivity as "not such a big deal." Andy Andrews decried the much vaunted statistics being peddled by Reith and Corrigan as seldom giving an accurate report of the work involved in container movements.

On two ships recently in Adelaide he described how container movements on one were 16 per hour, and on an adjacent ship were 28 an hour, definitely close to world's best practice. However, average container movements tend to distort the effort reguired. A poor statistic for a ship may result from the way the containers are presented, and the way they are stowed on a ship. When he contacted a shipping company to try and resolve some of the problems - to reform container stowage to improve container movement rate, he was told that "Adelaide stowage was an afterthought." This claim has been made before - that because of Australia's trade volume and geographical position, the logistics of accessing containers will fluctuate wildly from ship to ship.


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