first published on sydney morning herald May 26, 1983
Some 600 painters and dockworkers celebrated the 100th anniversary of their union in Sydney yesterday as a band played Waltzing Matilda and a small group of plainclothes federal police officers mingled with the crowd.
Painters and longshoremen across Sydney staged a half-day strike yesterday, bringing them together at “Liberty Hill” (corner of Montague and Llewellyn Streets, Balmain) to recreate the union flag first unfurled in 1889 The scene, set six years later.
Tuesday. Mr Frank Costigan QC has agreed to suspend the royal commission hearings into union activity to allow some of its Victorian members to fly to Sydney for the festivities.
The “notoriety” of the royal commission and unions has been criticized by its federal secretary. Mr Terry Gordon speaks before the unveiling of the union’s restored banner.
He condemned “the false image that Mr Fraser, the sworn enemy of the media and the trade union movement, has built up over the years”.
“We are not a bunch of hooligans, murderers and thugs, but a stable union that has done a lot for working people,” he said.
“All the Liberals have uncovered is “a whole bunch of ruse within their own ranks”.