b'A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWNUnions The inherent loyalty that Dixon & Haddon developed amongst its staff helped the company to sidestep union unrest. This was no small feat as, in the 70s and 80s, the Boilermakers Union was very militant. Bob recalls there being one ratbag that tried to instigate trouble, but he didnt last long. I didnt get rid of him; the boys got rid of him because he made them feel uncomfortable. They were very loyal; they never wanted to go on strike. When the Union tried to exert its influence over the workshop, Joe Cowan thought Dixon & Haddon might go the way of some of theBarry Dixon thinks it may have had other workshops around town and he wassomething to do with Dixon & Haddons worried about being pressured by the Union.approach of paying their workers union fees, I never liked it. But if you were asked towhich demonstrated support for their workers join the Union you had to join back in thoseand for the Union. It served us well; the days. I was expecting problems but thereUnion left us alone.werent any.The company soon developed a reputation Why? Joe believes that it was thanks tofor its reliable site crew. The big construction Bobs openness, his ability to communicatecompanies had confidence that if Dixon & well and his strong relationships with Haddon sent a work gang to site it wouldnt beAbove: The Boilermakers Union on the march in Wellington in the 1970s. Photo courtesy of the the workers. the source of any strikes.Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.Right: From left, Barry, Judy, Karyn and Bob in 1983.28'