Sunday, October 27, 2013

The unions' war on Australia — Quadrant Online

The unions' war on Australia — Quadrant Online

In Adelaide in the same year, 1942, watersiders unloading a ship deliberately wrecked American aircraft engines by dropping them from cargo-nets until American soldiers fired sub-machine-guns and dropped stun-grenades on the water­siders. On the Brisbane wharves Australian watersiders also deliberately wrecked US P-38 fighter planes. One soldier later wrote:

They simply hooked the lifting crane onto the planes, and, without unbolting the planes from the decks, would signal the hoisting engineer to lift, which effectively tore the planes to pieces.

On the same wharves, in August 1942, after soldiers with drawn bayonets had stopped them stealing food from the stores they were loading, watersiders smashed vehicles of an army battalion being rushed to New Guinea by drop­ping them from winches.

During the course of the war virtually every major Australian warship, including at different times its entire force of cruisers, was targeted by strikes, go-slows or sabo­tage.

Australian Naval men in ships operating in the islands were reduced to near-starvation because of strikes in Aus­tralia and tried to feed themselves by depth-charging fish, and soldiers went without food and ammunition. Aus­tralian warships sailed to and from combat zones without ammunition for the same reason.

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