Archive for September, 2010

This is from the MUA website.

Wollongong film maker Sandra Pires short film clip “Pig Iron Bob” could be just the prelude to a full length docodrama on the legendary 1938 Dalfram Dispute
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On November 15, 1938 the steamship Dalfram berthed at No. 4 jetty Port Kembla to load pig iron for Kobe, Japan.

Japan was at war with China and reports were making their way back of the brutalities carried out by the Japanese Imperial Army – “the Rape of Nanking.”

Ted Roach, Branch Secretary, addressed the men at the labour pick up for the Dalfram. He told the men of the destination of the pig iron and the obvious use the Japanese would make of it: bombs – first to be used against the Chinese and eventually against Australia.

At 11 am the men walked off the ship declaring they refused to load pig iron for Japan to turn into weapons. It led to a nine week lock-out, with incredible pressure and threats applied by the government of the day, leading the Attorney General and future Prime Minister Robert Menzies from this time on being known as Pig Iron Bob.

Rupert Lockwood wrote in his book War on the Waterfront: “180 men in sweaty singlets and hobnailed boots sacrificed pay packets in favour of conscience rather than become unwilling providers of munitions metal for Japan.”

Now local film maker Sandra Pires has produced a short clip with the long term aim of making a full length doco drama on the dispute.


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