Vale Bobby Galleghan

Bobby Galleghan, the Federal Secretary of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union from 1983 until 1993, has passed away.

As John Tognolini wrote some years ago about Bob's leadership, "on May 10, 1989 the Cockatoo Island Dockyard shop committee, representing 13 unions, announced the occupation of the island in response to a decision by the Hawke Labor government to sell off the site. The dispute would last for 14 weeks.

In the 1983 federal election, federal Labor leader and former ACTU president Bob Hawke campaigned against Malcolm Fraser's Coalition government at Cockatoo Island. Within a few months of Labor's election win, a thousand dockyard workers marched on the Australian Parliament in Canberra because Hawke had broken his promise to have a second 18,000-tonne naval supply ship built at Cockatoo after construction of HMAS Success was completed in 1984.

Bob Galleghan said at this rally: ``There won't be a second ship built unless you're going to do something about it.'' Hawke's decision would cost 1600 workers their jobs.

During a protest by the Cockatoo Island workers toward the end of the dispute the Labor Council officials locked themselves on the top floor of their building in Sussex Street. The dockyard workers had gathered outside. After hearing speakers condemning Hawke, defence minister Kim Beazley, the ACTU and the Labor Council, the workers found an open door up the fire stairs and marched up to the floor below the Labor Council officials. While this was going on, the police attacked those remaining in Sussex Street, arresting six people who later faced trial.

After this, there was the last mass meeting, which had union leaders telling strikers on their 93rd day “on the grass” that they would be open to fines under section 45D of the Trade Practices Act. Bob Galleghan said: “Anyone with a 45D fine could stand on the end of the line with the other creditors to the union.”

Funeral arrangements: Palmdale Lawn Cemetery, Palmdale Road Ourimbah, Monday 26th August 2013 commencing at The family requests that in lieu of flowers donation be made to breast cancer research. A wake will also be held, with details to be determined.