Unions today strongly welcomed the Labor Government's introduction of legislation to increase superannuation to 12%, hailing it as a reform that would provide real benefits to Australians for decades to come.Read more
The newly-created fund represents the union of two of the countrys longest-running super funds. Behind the merger is a tale of two parallel struggles from adversity to eventual triumph.
Former SERF Chairman John Coombes remembers a Friday afternoon back in 1968 when he was walking up the gangway with an old chap who said it was his last day: It seemed strange to me, only being new on the waterfront, that nothing had been said, nothing had been done. Here he was, hed been on the waterfront for 40 years, and he was walking out the gate with his last weeks salary to be picked up and that was all. And I thought to myself, what a harsh industry and it was a harsh industry in those days.
The wharfies and the seafarers were among the first blue collar workers in Australia to get super. Before the funds were established, workers were forced to live off a social service pension which, as John recalls, in many circumstances wouldnt have even paid the rent.