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23 January - "Pig Iron Bob", Move it NOW!!!

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23 January - "Pig Iron Bob", Move it NOW!!!

Unread postby Max ADU » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:13 pm

Australian History
Monday, January 23,

1939 : The waterside Workers' Strike, which earns Robert Menzies the nickname of 'Pig-Iron Bob', finally ends after nine weeks.


    On 16 November 1938, members of the Waterside Workers' Union at Port Kembla in New South Wales refused to load cargo of pig-iron onto the steamer Delfram.

    Around 400 tons of pig-iron had already been loaded when the men held a stop-work meeting at 1pm, based on their belief that the pig-iron was not intended for Singapore, as they had been told, but bound for Japan. Japan was already seen a major threat in the Pacific.

    In his position as Attorney-General, Menzies was forced to intervene. Reminding the unions that the League of Nations had not imposed trade sanctions against Japan, he threatened to invoke the Transport Workers Act against the unions if they did not load the pig-iron.

    Due to the ongoing strike action, the steelworks were closed, forcing many workers into unemployment.

    On 23 January 1939, after a dispute lasting nine weeks and resulting in an estimated cost of £100,000 in lost wages and £3000 for the owners of the Delfram which lay idle at Port Kembla throughout that time, the workers agreed to load the remaining pig-iron.

    Union leaders met with the Prime Minister and Robert Menzies to settle the terms later that week. The entire incident earned Robert menzies the nickname of "Pig-Iron Bob", which remained with him throughout his political career, and followed him into the history books.

    Robert Gordon Menzies entered politics in 1928 after being elected to Victoria’s Legislative Council for East Yarra.

    After six years in Victorian state politics as Attorney-General and Minister for Railways (1928–34), he was elected to federal parliament as member for Kooyong.

    From 1935, Menzies was Deputy leader of the United Australia Party under Joseph Lyons, as well as Attorney-General and Minister for Industry

    Robert Gordon Menzies became our 12th Prime Minster in April 1939
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Re: 23 January - "Pig Iron Bob", Move it NOW!!!

Unread postby Fitzhenrymac » Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:59 pm

You forgot a tiny little detail. I wonder why? The bastard called in the army and two workers were shot.
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