A recent deal between Bisalloy Steels and Israel-based Rafael Defense Systems sparked a protest outside the Bisalloy office in Unanderra on Friday.
Leading the protest were activists from the Students for Palestine at the University of Wollongong and the Greens party.
Bisalloy Steels signed the $900,000 defence contract with the Israeli company earlier this year to provide around 200 tonnes of steel, which protesters claim will be used to make armoured fighting vehicles.
“We should not be aiding or abetting such a company in its war crimes,” Wollongong Undergraduate Student Association education officer and assistant secretary Isabelle Liddy said.
Wollongong Greens Councillor Mithra Cox gave a brief speech before breaking into a Bob Dylan song in front of the crowd.
“We want a steel industry that we can be proud of. We want our steel to be used for building homes, trains, bridges and schools - not for killing people,” she said.
“A generation ago, Wollongong workers refused to let our steel be sent to Japan for their war effort. Let’s uphold this fine tradition and stand against the military oppression of the Palestinian people.”
Chloe Rafferty, activist with students for Palestine and the Wollongong Socialists, added: “We’re not fighting against jobs, we’re fighting for jobs that aren’t built on blood. No profit from war, this is what we’re fighting for.”
However a Bisalloy spokeswoman said: “Bisalloy Protection steel plate is used in applications that provide protection for people, property and valuables. Contrary to recent comments Bisalloy Steels does not manufacture steel products for the use in bullets, missiles or similar weapons.
“Bisalloy Steels are proud of our internationally recognised high strength steel products and the positive impact our export contracts have on providing local jobs for employees, suppliers and distributors as well as supporting the Australian economy.”