Brisbane Screening of Pig Iron Bob – 17 April 2015

Comrades and Friends

Brisbane Labour History Association has been asked to help promote through its networks the screening of a new documentary, Pig Iron Bob. The film relates the events of the Dalfram Dispute in 1938-1939, in which Australian waterside workers refused to load pig iron on a ship bound for Japan. It was in the course of this dispute, and the efforts of the Australian government to oppose it, that Menzies (at that time Attorney General in the Lyons Government) earned the notorious title of Pig Iron Bob.

The film is to be screened in Brisbane on Friday, 17 April 2015. The venue is the 2nd Floor of the TLC Building, 16 Peel Street, South Brisbane.

I have no doubt that the film will be of interest to many BLHA members, and I would encourage you all to circulate the attached flyer within your networks.

Some more details about the film, including a preview trailer, can be found at:


Craig Buckley


Brisbane Labour History Association

On November 15, 1938 the steamship Dalfram berthed at No. 4 jetty Port Kembla to load pig iron for Kobe, Japan.

Ted Roach, Branch Secretary, addressed the men at the labour pick up for the Dalfram. He told the men of the destination of the pig iron and the use of the pig iron in the use of weapons – first to be used against the Chinese and he feared that eventually against Australia.

At 11 am the men walked off the ship declaring they refused to load pig iron for Japan to turn into weapons. It led to a nine week lock-out, with incredible pressure and being applied by the government of the day.

On the 11th of January 1939, Robert Menzies came to Wollongong to sort out the dispute. He met with an angry crowd where the main picture of this website was taken and a lady screamed out Pig Iron Bob, which lasted him an eternity.

Why is it an important story?

We want that part of our history to be preserved and understood as an Australian story told locally. We will leave no stone unturned as we Search, Question, Find and Share and we will show both sides of the story. There’s always two sides to a story.

Stories provoke and inspire and we are proud to present Pig Iron Bob!




Director of photography

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