Union Songs

Join the MUA

New words by Mark Gregory

Come all of you good wharfies
Good news to you I'll tell
Of how that good old MUA
Has come in here to dwell

Join the MUA
Come and join the MUA
Join the MUA
Come and join the MUA

My daddy was a seaman
And I'm a sailors's son
I'm sticking to the MUA
Till every battle's won

On wharves around Australia
There are no neutrals left
You'll either be a union man
Or a thug for the NFF

Oh, workers can you stand it?
Oh, tell me how you can
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?

When Patrick sacked the wharfies
They thought it was a joke
But world wide solidarity
Is causing them to choke

Don't scab for the bosses
Don't listen to their lies
Us working folks haven't got a chance
Unless we organize


MUA is the Maritime Union of Australia, an amalgamation of the old Waterside Workers Federation and the Seamen's Union of Australia.

The NFF is the National Farmers Federation, representing the large agribusiness interests. The present Federal Government of Australia (1998) is politically and financially linked to the NFF, and together they have organised an onslaught on the unionism in Australia, most spectacularly attacking union rights on the waterfront, with the forced removal of 1400 workers (April 9th 1998) from Patrick docks and their replacement with scabs "trained" by NFF, the government acting as cheerleader.

Industrial Relations Minister Peter Reith, both designed the new laws to curtail workers rights and advised Patrick on ways to circumvent the little worker protection remaining in those laws.

The sackings have led to 2 weeks of picketting at Patrick docks around Australia, with the whole community joining in, and even police ignoring demands by Prime Minister John Howard to break up picket lines.

Internationally dockers in Japan, South Africa, United States are refusing to unload Patrick cargo, and there is a growing boycott of Australia farm produce (April 23rd 1998) in a number of countries.

I have taken 2 songs for this one,. "Which Side Are You On?" by Florence Reece and "Join the NMU" by Aunt Molly Jackson

Wendy Lowenstein has sent me an article suggesting simmilar song adaptions for these times

Mark sings this song on the MUA Centenary CD "With These Arms"

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