Chapter Five

It is hardly surprising that Transfield's workforce grew from a modest beginning of 21 pioneers who started work in Port Kembla in 1956, to over 12,000 fifty years later. In response to Transfield's paternal care, they showed abiding allegiance and loyalty. "We were like a family in Transfield", one of them commented, "The men felt they had to push the firm through somehow".

At the time, the Company's work ethic was, as a leading hand put it, that "it was all a question of wanting to work. If they had a piece of steel they wanted to cut, they cut it. They didn't wait around to find someone with a ticket to cut it. Everybody had to do everything".


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Worker spraying a corrosion protection coating on a girder. Consulting on what to do next.