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Strike meeting at the tennis court - transcript

Excerpt from the Footscray Advertiser, 4 March 1911

Excerpt from the Footscray Advertiser newspaper 4 March 1911 reporting on the announcement that a meeting of union members would be held at the Sunshine tennis courts
National Library of Australia

An announcement that a meeting open only to unionists above 21 years of age, at which neither employers nor trade representatives were to be admitted was to be held at the Sunshine Tennis Court under the auspices of the Sunshine Union Committee on Wednesday morning caused some stir in Trades Hall circles. No such meeting had been authorised by the executive and it was felt that an attempt was being made to unduly force the hands of that body by the taking of a vote adverse to the strike. The promoters, at the Trades Hall meeting on Tuesday, were promptly branded as traitors, and it was decided to attend the meeting in force on Wednesday morning to see who was responsible, the suspicion being entertained that the employers themselves in an effort to cause a split in the ranks, had a voice in the matter.

In consequence the 10 33 a.m., train from Melbourne to Sunshine on the day named was filled by fully three hundred strikers, amongst the number a large proportion of Footscrayites. On arrival at Sunshine there was a crowd of fifty or sixty persons waiting and the cry "Unionists this way" attracted the arrivals to a spot on the south side of the Sunshine station and a good distance from the tennis court. A placard was also displayed bearing the words:—

"Beware of the Tennis Court fake. It is not a union meeting.—No unionist need apply."