- Our Union
- Our Industries
Published: 30 Sep 2021
Today we continue to commemorate World Maritime Day, but sadly because of the Covid 19 restrictions, we cannot do it with the traditional March across Pyrmont bridge followed by the wreath laying ceremony’s, and afterwards to pay tribute, and recognise by celebration the tremendous sacrifices made in War time by Seafarers, Wharfies, Port workers, lines workers, Tugs workers and Maritime workers in general to ensure that the War time effort to keep industry’s turning over was uninterrupted.
Australian Seafarers died on cargo ships keeping the supply lines open to the allied forces around the World, Wharfies and Port workers died on the Darwin waterfront in their brave efforts to make sure the vessels carrying War material to the fighting fronts against European Fascism and Japanese militarism was maintained at all times. Maritime workers did this with a great deal of pride, and above all else, they did because they believed in the ideals of defeating European Fascism and Japanese militarism.
Maritime workers built the ships, they loaded the ships, they sailed the ships, and they repaired the ships, and they died on those same ships in War time. And what is their reward for such self-sacrificing bravery? To witness the systematic destruction of the Australian Merchant fleet that these same heroic comrades built, sailed in, and worked, with a loyalty to their industry that was second to none. And to their everlasting shame, successive conservative governments over many years in this country, including the present conservative government who have had a master plan all along to totally dismantle anything resembling an Australian Merchant fleet.
At a time when the Australian shipping industry is haemorrhaging badly and in urgent need of funding, the present conservative government is high jacking Australian taxpayer money on deploying nuclear submarines that will carry weapons of mass destruction, such acts of madness have more to do with appeasing the War Hawkes around the World then looking after the best interests of all Australians.
How many Australian Merchant ships could be built with the money spent on acquiring eight nuclear submarines?
If we are truly serious in this country about having a pride in what we do and what we achieve, then surely the resurrection of the Australian Merchant fleet must be right up the order of batting of things worth fighting for, we surely owe this to the fighting Mariners/Maritime workers who have given their all to make us safe.
Today comrades, tip your glasses and spare of thought for the brave souls who gave their lives to ensure
that we are able to carry on a normal life free from the threat of war.
Comrade Joe Deakin
on behalf of the Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney Branch