There's no gainsaying that watersiders have a strategic capacity to take effective strike action and a (proud) history of militancy, but that's not the issue here.
It would be wrong to convey the impression that the commission's entire 613-page output was bent to favour the government and damage the watersiders.
Although the stevedoring industry was relatively concentrated (the top four companies accounted for 62 per cent of wages paid to watersiders in 1955), the fundamentally different types of firms that comprised the industry made co-ordination difficult.
First, a buffer of casual labour was maintained at each port and used when all registered watersiders were deployed.
They represented workers with economic punch such as the miners, watersiders, seafarers and meat workers.
93) After World War II, there was an upsurge of militant unionism and communists became prominent in several unions, although they had limited influence over the most militant union, the watersiders.
The departure of Sister Vivian Bullwinkle and other personnel of 2/ 13th Australian General Hospital aboard the hospital ship Wanganella to Malaya before the Japanese attack was disrupted when watersiders
refused to load supplies and equipment.
The Maoriland Worker said the visit was for a well-earned rest, but also suggested that whilst in Australia Semple had been instructed to solidify ties between New Zealand and Australian coal miners and watersiders
It is claimed by Knightley that the striking watersiders
managed to prevent "non-union labour" unloading the Dimboola and there is a reference to "scab" workers.
Miners and watersiders
were the core of the 'Red Feds'.
Thus a confrontation occurred in February 1951 when wage negotiations between the WWU and the Government broke down: the WWU offered that the watersiders
continue work during the dispute, but without any overtime; the employers responded by saying that they would accept no work without overtime.
Besides, on those issues our minds have been firmly made up on our behalf, in favour of the maligned watersiders
and their cause and against all those who opposed and persecuted them: the cliche-spouting politicians, the faceless newspaper editors, cops and FOL officials.