This DVD consists of three video streams, the first of which is a memorial service held in Perth for the 17 waterside workers who have lost their lives on the waterfront over the previous decade. The names of the fallen are read out along with their photographs, followed by a minute’s silence. This is followed by an emotional speech delivered by Warren Nguyen about his workmate Anthony Attard, who was killed in a workplace accident on the waterfront in Melbourne. Warren talks about the trauma of losing of his mate and the importance of safety on the job. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, the workers found 38 items where they believed their safety was at risk on the site. Warren talks about the impact on Attard’s family.
In a second stream, an MUA official talks about the importance of safety and not looking the other way when risks are identified, as these deaths on the waterfront devastates families. They need to do more to make sure workers on the waterfront go home to their families. Protesting workers carry coffins and hold photographs of those who have lost their lives.
In the third video stream, the issue of job security is highlighted as a critical issue for maritime workers, with young people unable to find work, 65% of maritime workers employed on a casual basis and companies looking to outsource their work to foreigners on 457 visas. Union officials argue that casualisation is used as a tool to disrupt union attempts to organise. With the assistance of the media, companies are said to be using the political and legal system to maximise profits at the expense of local workers. While the corporate media is biased against the union, officials see the value of social media in getting their message across to the wider public. The union emphasises the need for proper education and training to address skill shortages, instead of the importation of cheap foreign labour. The video contains extensive footage of protests and features numerous interviews from union officials and maritime workers.
Author: J Bird, 2023