Water front war Timeline

3 February 1998: Patrick chairman Chris Corrigan (right), after many denials, admits direct involvement in the Dubai venture, saying he had agreed to lease space at Webb Dock and equipment to the company behind the scheme.

February 1998:
Mr Corrigan is forced to appear at the Industrial Relations Commission where he admits he considered sacking his entire workforce and replacing them with non-union labor. MUA begins a site-by-site industrial campaign. As wharfies go back at Webb Dock, others go out at Patrick's East Swanson Dock.

April 7: Patrick Stevedores sacks its entire 1,400 dock workforce, removing workers at night by security guards with dogs.

April 8: Thousands of workers take to the streets. Dockers picket Patrick dock sites, blocking passage of cargo. The Australian government says it will sue international dock worker unions if they obstruct shipping lines.

April 9: The National Council of Dockworkers' Unions of Japan declares support for MUA. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union of the U.S. also pledges support.

April 16: Police in riot gear drag dozens of sacked protesters from Fremantle wharf.

April 20: Australian farmers say they will drive farm trucks through pickets to free the wharves.

April 21: Australia's Federal Court orders Patrick to reinstate the sacked 1,400 workers until a court hearing on the case is held. Patrick appeals.

April 23: A full bench of the Federal Court backs the reinstatement order. MUA boss John Coombs says it is hoped to have the unionists back on the dock on Friday.