The wool ban, imposed by the Seamen’s Union on 1 July 1949 and lifted on 18 July, involved two vessels, the State Ship Dorrigo, which bypassed Port Hedland, and the State Ship Kybra, which was held up for two days by the ban before wool was loaded. The ban was weakened by lack of support from the Australian Workers’ Union, as this report, written by McLeod and transcribed by Hurd, shows.

Report on Seamen's Union Wool Ban

Report by D.W. McLeod on AWU scabbing on wool ban occasion 1949, in Hurd’s Notes, Papers of Don McLeod, State Library of Western Australia, MS 5121A.

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Seamen's Union Warns Government on Wool Ban

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The imprisonment of so many strikers, and the use of chains in making the arrests, led the Fremantle branch of the Seamen’s Union of Australia to impose a black ban on the shipment of wool from Pilbara stations. Although there was little or no disruption to the wool industry, the ban was not insignificant, adding weight to the actions of the Aboriginal strikers and forcing the Department of Native Affairs to find less punitive responses to the strike. Secretary of the Fremantle Branch of the Seamen’s Union, Ron Hurd, gave the government two months warning before imposing the ban on 1 July 1949.