Fremantle in Slow Motion: Winning Back the Melbourne Waterfront, 1919

Full text for this resource is not available from the Research Repository.

Bollard, Robert (2009) Fremantle in Slow Motion: Winning Back the Melbourne Waterfront, 1919. Labour history (97). pp. 123-136. ISSN 0023-6942


A basic misconception regarding precisely what happened on the Melbourne waterfront in 1919 has coloured perceptions of the industrial performance of the Waterside Workers Federation between the defeat of 1917 and the lockout of 1928. Contrary to the prevailing perception of a fatally weakened and embattled organisation, plagued by mass scabbing, the wharfies won a major victory in 1919. The comparatively well-documented success in Fremantle, where a major riot in May 1919 cleared the port of scabs, was followed by a more prolonged, but ultimately successful campaign in Melbourne which has not been documented. Combining violence and intimidation (helped as in Fremantle by the presence of returned soldiers) with strike action, in conjunction with the seamen, the rank and file of the Melbourne wharfies defied both their officials and Justice Higgins to win the abolition of the Nation Service Bureau and reinstate preference for unionists.

Item type Article
Official URL;dn=3...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > SEO Classification > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Keywords ResPubID18069. industrial action, industrial relations, trade unions, labour disputes, Waterside Workers Federation, Melbourne waterfront, lockout, strikes, wharfies, National Service Bureau, Fremantle
Citations in Scopus 0 - View on Scopus
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login