Globalising Solidarity – Extended Version

Australian Workers Film Guide


This is an extended version of the Globalising Solidarity conference video presentation.

The video begins with some footage and facts about the Australian blockade of Dutch shipping, the union’s support of Indonesian independence, the embargo of the South African Apartheid, the Vietnam War, support of aboriginal stockmen, and Pacific unions supporting each other in their struggles. 

Paddy Crumlin tells of the union going to the US in order to build a strong network of workers against exploitation. Australian unions must organise internationally because there is no hope of dealing with giant multi-national companies who will erode and undermine workers’ rights in collaboration with conservative governments. His message is that there is no room in free trade for unionism. The American model is being exported to the rest of the world and this includes deregulation, and privatisation, and free trade agreements and ultimately, the destruction of unions.

It is argued that worker injustice is perpetrated by the same multi-national companies all over the world. These companies do not fear blacklisting some of the union members and these workers then cannot find work in their industry. Capital does not have a conscience and does not respect borders or the rights of people. South American economies can be oppressive for the worker, and with questionable civil rights. Chilean dictatorial legislation is supported by a corrupt police force. In the face of such tactics, the workers need to adapt the mentality of “An injury to one, is an injury to all” mentality, and that “Workers united will never be defeated”. Foreign unions can assist Australian ones to campaign and to lobby. 

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.

Production Company: Maritime Union of Australia with the Assistance of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Additional footage courtesy of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Chilean Dockworkers Union.

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 32 mins 50 secs

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