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The strike begins - transcript

Excerpt from the Melbourne Argus, 17 February 1911

Excerpt from the Melbourne Argus newspaper on 17 February 1911 titled Meeting at Sunshine, Mr McKay addresses men
National Library of Australia




About 1,000 men stood at the entrance to the Sunshine Harvester Works at 8 o'clock yesterday morning. They were dressed in their working clothes, but instead of entering the factory they hung about outside, discussing the situation, and speculating on what would happen. Scattered throughout the crowd were nearly 200 boys and youths. These were the enthusiastic strikers.

"Well, no more work for a few weeks, now," said one of the boys.

"No," replied his companions. Then they laughed. The prospect of a holiday was to their liking.

An entirely different demeanour marked the groups of men. They talked gravely, and wondered if a compromise could be arrived at at a conference. An opening was kept in the crowd so that anyone who wished to enter the factory could do so. A number of men passed down the line, but they were nearly all engaged in departments other than that of the implement‑makers.

When the whistle blew Mr. E.F. Russell, secretary of the union, appealed to Mr. H.V. M'Kay to settle the dispute by urging the non‑unionists to join the union.

Mr. M'Kay said that his doors were open to unionist and non‑unionist alike.