On 22 January, Melbourne members of the Agricultural Implement Makers’ Union (AIMU), including many from the Sunshine Harvester Works, gathered at a mass meeting. The unionists had tried to better their wages and conditions through lobbying government and arguing their case in the conciliation and arbitration court, but had met with little success. They now believed that a strike was the only way to achieve their goals.
The AIMU decided that all workers in the agricultural implements trade in Melbourne had to join the union if they were to have any power. They announced ‘that all non-unionists be given three weeks opportunity to join the union, failing which the executive advises unionist members to refuse to work with them’.