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Collection of 78 documents relating to the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority

Date: 1958 - 1973
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Carol O'Connor
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS1364

User Terms

    This collection consists of 78 documents collected by Bernard James O'Connor during his period as the Director of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority (ASIA). The papers relate to applications for the establishment of registers at Port Hedland and Port Walcott; the Hursey dispute; New Zealand ports; and the push for permanent employment of workers in Darwin. The series consists of five speech transcripts; one telegram; three summary judgements; three submissions to the Darwin Commission of Inquiry; one typed statement; four reports relating to the Hursey case; one employee reference; one press release; two newspaper articles; two maps; one memorandum relating to the Hursey dispute; one Stevedoring Industry Bill 1966; one set of comments from employer representatives; four legal decisions; one diary note; one set of draft instructions for Counsel; one ASIA enquiry document; one paper regarding waterside worker's registration; one recorded result of group discussions; one outline of tentative proposals regarding reorganization of the industry; one card; seven notes; five documents regarding strikes, membership and complaints and 29 letters relating to Union agreements, the Hursey dispute and employment in Darwin.
    SignificanceThis collection chronicles Bernard O'Connor's tenure as Solicitor and then Director of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority through a period of massive change on the Australian waterfront.
    HistoryThe Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority was set up in 1956 as a body corporate to regulate the performance of stevedoring operations. It comprised a chairman, an employer representative and a trade union representative. In 1970 the Authority was reconstituted with the addition of a Director. In 1978, after considerable reform of waterfront organisation, the Authority was terminated. Most of its functions went to the Association of Employers of Waterside Labour. Its assets and liabilities went to the Stevedoring Industry Finance Committee.

    Bernard James O'Connor had been Chief Legal Officer and Industrial Officer with the Stevedoring Industry Board, forerunner of the Authority, since 1954. He then became Solicitor to the Authority, and was appointed Director in 1970 when that position was established. He remained Director until the Authority was wound up in 1978.

    During this period the Australian waterfront industry underwent vast changes. In the 1950s and 1960s the Waterside Workers' Federation won many victories through industrial action, including control of hiring labour, while wharf labourers' awards and conditions were greatly increased and improved. In the 1970s with changing trade and the introduction of containerisation, the industry and its operations were reformed under the powers of the Australian Industry Authority.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Collection of 78 documents relating to the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority

    Collection title: Bernard James O'Connor collection

    Assigned title: Papers of Bernard James O'Connor relating to the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, and ports Walcott, Hobart, New Zealand and Darwin

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