Thompson was serving the second of his two one-year terms as president of the UTLC and Barton Pope was president of the South Australian Chamber of Manufactures.
A week later Thompson, in his first and much more subtle address to the UTLC as its incoming president, implied that, while workers had not reached 'our ultimate goal of Socialism', it didn't really matter because the trade union movement had achieved so much since the end of the war: inter alia the best-possible wages, the breaking of wage-pegging regulations, and provisions for longer annual leave.
The event's significance was best outlined by the News--by far the more likely of Adelaide's two daily newspapers to support the ALP rather than the LCL--which pointed out that it was the first time in the 60-year history of the UTLC that one of its officials had attended such a function.
At a meeting of the UTLC in early December, the secretary of the Plasterers' Union, 'Jim' Cavanagh, a much-respected figure on and by the Left, denounced 'dining with class enemies' and urged the UTLC, albeit unsuccessfully, to dissociate itself from its president's actions.
But what infuriated other metal trades unions in the state--and worried both the UTLC and the ASE federal council and executive--were the tightening of the 'closed shop' arrangement with Pope's and, above all, the ban on Communist trade union officials at any level.
McCaffrey angrily protested to both the UTLC and the newly-formed Metal Trades Federation of South Australia, arguing that the PP-ASE agreement was 'in complete contradiction' to the policy of the MTF which opposed the making of agreements by individual unions.
The UTLC was in an awkward position; Thompson was still, after all, its president.
In February, Thompson launched a defamation action against McCaffrey who, at a UTLC meeting, had effectively accused him of betraying the membership of the ASE.
According to earlier reports, the Belarusian side was expected to contribute railway terminals in Brest and assets of the firm Belintertrans to the UTLC.
The national railway operators of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus inked the pact to establish the United Transport and Logistics Company (UTLC) in June 2013.
Apart from offering a so-called "single window" service, UTLC PO will also have to operate train services, including the procurement of rolling stock, arrangement of customs clearance at borders, along with associated services on the route.
In June 2013, the three railways decided to form UTLC, and UTLC PO was set up in October 2013, headed by Mr Zhanar Rymzhanova.