Pat Preston

Pat is well known throughout Victoria’s construction industry as the Manager of the CFMEU’s OHS & Environmental Unit, and is widely respected for his passion, untiring work and achievements in the cause of construction safety.

But back in 1970, he was a 29-year-old crane operator and Federated Engine Drivers’ & Firemans’ Association (FEDFA) shop steward – one of many workers on what was then Melbourne’s largest and most prestigious construction project – the West Gate Bridge.Pat was a couple of metres from the hoist cage when the bridge fell.

You can view a pdf file of Pat Preston’s West Gate experiences here.

Jim O’Neill

Jim O’Neill was born in England in 1927. Even as a young apprentice, Jim showed the characteristics of a good union official by organising an apprentice strike. Following this, he was given an ultimatum of either losing his job, or going to sea during the war. Jim chose the latter and was assigned the most dangerous job of all – sailing on the minesweepers.

Jim joined the Boilermakers’ Union in Australia in 1950 and was an activist on many jobs, including workplaces in Tasmania. In 1958, Jim became a Shop Steward for Fluor during the building of the Altona Petro-chemical complex.

John Cummins

John Cummins – an inspirational leader of working men and women.

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win – If you don’t fight you lose was the often-used catchcry by which John Cummins lived. Sadly, John passed away on 29 August 2006, aged 58, after a 12 month battle with cancer. John lived a life dedicated to the working class, for whom he fought often and won repeatedly. 

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