Australian Waterfront Dispute of 1998
This week’s union song, “With These Arms,”
By Robin Roberts
This week’s union song, “With These Arms,” by songwriter Tim O’Brien was inspired by the Australian Waterfront Dispute of 1998 when the Patrick Corporation, which controlled the waterfront, drove out the Maritime Union of Australia in an illegal restructuring of their workforce.
The government, in support, gutted the Industrial Relations Act, renamed it the Workplace Relations Act of 1996, and all but eliminated collective bargaining in an effort to break the MUA.
On April 8, 1998, all dockworkers were fired. The next day the docks re-opened staffed by non-union workers.
The union sued in federal court and won. A new agreement was signed in June 1998.
Originally Broadcast May 25, 2012. Actress Janie Haddad Tompkins and Aaron Ginsburg stop by to talk about “Janie And Aaron Does Hollywood,” another podcast that will soon eclipse David’s. More union songs from Robin Roberts. Also stuff from our archives.