The Dalfram Dispute: ‘Pig Iron Bob’

By May 18, 2015 Events

On 15 November 1938, 180 men on the Port Kembla wharves refused to load pig iron on The Dalfram to Japan, believing it would return as bombs against Australia.

Robert Menzies—or ‘Pig Iron Bob’ as he became known—was the Attorney General and Minister for Trade responsible for signing the contract with Japan. This film is about the drama that unfolded as a result.

When Menzies went to Wollongong to try and end the wharfies strike, he was met by an angry crowd. It was there he was given a nickname that would haunt him for the rest of his life, when a woman in the crowd heckled him with ‘Pig Iron Bob’.

Maritime Union of Australia South New South Wales branch secretary Garry Keane says the Dalfram Dispute was an important part of union history. “It set a precedent in Australia, in that it was not about terms and conditions of employment but purely about social justice and trade union members doing what was right for the protection of vulnerable peoples,” Keane says.

The Dalfram Dispute 1938: Pig Iron Bob began as a Metro Screen Diploma in-class project. Now it’s a powerful feature documentary. Don’t miss the Sydney screening on Friday 29 May!

To win a free ticket, simply email your name and contact phone number to with ‘Pig Iron Bob’ in the subject line.

Where: Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt Street, Sydney.

When: Friday 29 May, 6:30pm

RSVP essential to Sandra Pires:

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