At the time Costello was establishing himself in Paris, the New Zealand Special Branch was beset by a number of security problems connected with the watersiders
' dispute and communist demands for the withdrawal of New Zealand troops involved in the Korean War.
The Thistle was then a working-class pub favoured by watersiders
In this view, the government had no quarrel with trade unions as such, only with the MUA, which was accused of using its monopoly over the watersiders
to protect inefficient work practices.
He also supported the National government's suppression of the striking watersiders
' Wellington protest march the previous week.
George Burgess, then a shop steward at Boags but later an Organiser and Branch Secretary of the FLAIEU, recalls Mahoney telling him that he had got to know some members at the hotels at which he and other watersiders
drank and that this led to 'a suggestion that he should take over running the Branch'.
He recalls the Brown brothers, Lennie, Bobby and Leo as watersiders
and close personal friends, who were strong supporters of the union, but does not mention them as having had a left-wing political position and certainly not as sharing his own communist party affiliation.
By providing security of employment and income for registered watersiders
, and hence a stable base for union organising, the Commission became the cornerstone of union strength.
Union activity had increased greatly in New Zealand during the 1900s and had come to a head in 1913 with the Waihi miners' strike and the Wellington watersiders
' strike the next year.
These included great global conflicts, the Spanish influenza epidemic, the Great Depression of the 1930s, the technology revolution, the advent of antibiotics, the 1951 watersiders
' strike, the Equal Pay Act of 1962, the transfer of nursing education from hospitals into the tertiary education sector and the evolution of Te Runanga within NZNO.
On 5 April 1940, Sydney watersiders
at Woolloomooloo loading food for the A.I.F.
What he tried and failed to do to the watersiders
, Reith will try on the far less organised unemployed.
New Zealand Chinese businessmen and trade unions led a boycott movement against Japanese imports, while watersiders
refused to load scrap metal destined for Japan.