From The Mines To The Ships – Our Strength Is In The Chain

Australian Workers Film Guide


The video presentation begins with Paddy Crumlin, representative of the Maritime Union of Australia, recounting how Maritime Union members are leaving Australia in order to join another country’s union and built a network of workers to organise and fight the companies wanting to exploit workers and undermine workers’ rights. In the seminar, he tells his audience that there is no room in free trade for the rights of the worker and for unions in the transportation industry so they must be cautious. 

The workers need solidarity as well as better legal and regulatory strategies to fight for human rights. The unions need to adapt and change their ways in dealing with the “enemy”, so that international unity can help overcome this oppression.

For example, Australian unions refused to serve the South African regime and this helped bring down Apartheid, demonstrating the strategic position of power of the Maritime Union in the world. In South America, governments deal with corporations and their workers using the army. Japanese, South African, and Indian workers can go on strike in order to help their counterparts in America or Australia, and so forth, together in the struggle against the Howard Government and Patrick. There were US boycotts of Australian ships on the grounds that these ships were loaded by “scab” labour. The unions, then, must constantly discover new ways of defending their rights and end “economic apartheid.”

Special Notes/Achievements

Part of a collection of short videos presented at the 2005 Maritime Union of Australia’s Globalising Solidarity Presentation at the 2nd International Pacific Rim, Mining & Maritime Union Seminar in Los Angeles, California.

Filmed by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), USA. Additional footage courtesy of the MUA, Viron Papadopoulos, Cooper Silk and the Chilean Dockworkers Union (FETRAP), on behalf of ILWU, MUA and CFMEU.

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 21 mins 36 secs

Film Release Year:

Film Shooting Format:

Film Aspect Ratio:

Film Distribution Format: ,

Film Colour:

Film Director:

Film Producer:

Film Writer:

Film Key Cast:

Film Executive Producer:

Film Cinematographer:

Film Editor:

Film Sound Recordist:

Film Composer:

Film Production Company: