Although it was not as violent as the Great Strike of 1913, it lasted longer – 151 days, from February to July – and involved more workers. Read the full article. Waterfront reform has been on the national political agenda since the mid-1980s. Chris Corrigan, 72, talks vindication, ostracism and the death of reform, and questions why the MUA would merge with a "lawless organisation", 20 years after the brutal waterfront dispute. Communism, another branch of Marxism similar to socialism, was a major influence to the 1951 Waterfront Dispute which took place amidst the Cold War suspicion. For many unionists, though, the watersiders’ loyalty card – bearing the words ‘stood loyal right through’ – was a prized badge of honour. On the 27th, troops were sent onto the Auckland and Wellington wharves to load and unload ships. The 1951 Waterfront Dispute was the biggest and most prevalent industrial dispute New Zealand had ever seen. Watersiders and their sympathisers also managed to evade government censorship by producing illegal newsletters and dodging police raids to distribute them through clandestine networks. and less contained 1951 waterfront dispute. Katy Gosset hears a first-hand account of the long battle that was the 1951 Waterfront Dispute. Train drivers were warned beforehand, so there were zero injuries or casualties. The 1951 waterfront dispute Page 2 – Countdown to confrontation. Protest and reform Therein the cause of the waterfront disputes was attributed to the attitude of “Barnes and Hill” on the various waterfront Commissions, and to the machinations of the Communists. See a transcript and reference for this file. History of the waterfront dispute. The 1951 waterfront dispute was an epoch in New Zealand history. For five months from mid-­February 1951, watersiders were locked-­out and miners, seamen, freezing workers and others went on strike in support of the watersiders; in total 20,000 workers were involved. The 1951 Waterfront Dispute was simply not a stuggle over working conditions amd wage claims, it was clash and a power struggle between the working class, the employers and the Government. Some wharfies’ wives entered the paid workforce for the first time to support their locked-out husbands. The immediate cause of the 1951 waterfront dispute was the post-war economic situation. The mostly British-owned shipping companies that employed the wharfies instead offered 9%, claiming that earlier waterfront wage increases should be taken into account. Page 2 – Countdown to confrontation . 2009 Preview SONG TIME Proclamation (Sid's Song) 1. This collection of 27 original pamphlets, newsletters and newspapers relating to the 1951 Waterfront Dispute was donated as a single collection to Wellington City Libraries in the 1980s. In fact, only 8% of the country's union members took part in the dispute – the other 200,000 continued working. The 1951 waterfront dispute is one of the most widely written about industrial struggles in New Zealand history. The defeat of the wharfies reasserted the FOL’s control over the New Zealand union movement. By the end of May, with new unions of strike-breakers (denounced by unionists as scabs) registered in the main ports, the wharfies’ position was becoming increasingly hopeless. The 1951 waterfront dispute. Many watersiders were blacklisted (banned from working on the wharves) for years afterwards. The shipping companies in turn refused to hire them unless they agreed to work extra hours. See 1951 in art, 1951 in literature, Category:1951 books. All non-text content is subject to specific conditions. The 1951 waterfront dispute. On 30 April a railway bridge near Huntly was dynamited, presumably by striking coal miners. After years of restrictions and shortages, the economy was booming. 1951 Waterfront Dispute One of the biggest industrial confrontations in New Zealand history (known as the 1951 Waterfront Strike or Lockout, depending on your perspective) began on 13 February 1951. In 1951 the wharfies (waterside port workers) refused to work overtime, in protest over a low pay increase. The dispute remains the most bitter industrial conflict in the country's history. The rise of the Labour Party in 1935 saw a radical changes and a new start to the organisation of the Fedration of Labour (FoL). Not only was it … In 1951, during the New Zealand waterfront dispute and strike, an explosion destroyed the Huntly rail bridge.The bridge linked four open-cast mines and several pits in the Waikato coalfields with the Huntly township and the railway line, so its demolition was intended to disrupt coal supplies.. The 1951 waterfront dispute. Junior doctors’ strike. This dispute gives the Labour Party a good weapon with which to fight the next election. Music. Meet the NZHistory.net.nz team. Baden Norris Photo: ... And memories of the Waterfront Dispute are there too, the less fond ones mingled with the reminder that tough times can also bring out the best in people. Instead of simply forcing the wharfies to accept the original 9% increase, the government resolved to destroy the old Waterfront Workers’ Union and replace it with new unions in each port. He felt it was New Zealanders duty and obligation to support Britian in struggle against the Nazi Germany and during the War, he introduced military conscription, … Bitterness between supporters of the watersiders and FOL leaders, such as Fintan Patrick Walsh, lingered for decades, even though Walsh himself adopted a more militant stance in later years. Holland immediately called a snap election, which took place on 1 September 1951. This did not apply to waterside workers, whose employment was controlled by the Waterfront Industry Commission. (1) Legislation becameeffective in early 1997. At the height of the dispute around 22,000 workers were involved. Meet the NZHistory.net.nz team. This award-winning documentary tells the story of the 1951 lockout of waterside workers, and what followed: an extended nationwide strike, confrontation and censorship. 9/11: What were the causes and consequences for the US, Afghanistan, and the rest of the world? Cook Strait airlift, 1983. Page 4. The immediate cause of the 1951 waterfront dispute was the post-war economic situation. About the collection. 1974, First day of competition at Christchurch Commonwealth Games, Home As the cost of living soared, workers demanded higher wage increases. The 1951 waterfront dispute was the biggest industrial confrontation in New Zealand’s history. Train drivers were warned in advance and no one was hurt, but coal supplies were severely disrupted. 1 September: Signing of the ANZUS treaty. 1951 waterfront dispute In 1951 the wharfies (waterside port workers) refused to work overtime, in protest over a low pay increase. Draconian emergency regulations imposed rigid censorship, gave police sweeping powers of search and arrest and made it an offence for citizens to assist strikers – even giving food to their children was outlawed. The only side that opposes the action of the wharfies that you may find information about is the opinion of farmers in NZ at the time. Therein the cause of the waterfront disputes was attributed to the attitude of "Barnes and Hill" on the various waterfront Commissions, and to the machinations of the Communists. Kinleith strike poster, 1980. 2. The dispute took place in a climate of Cold War suspicion. Despite the dispute was militant Waterside Workers' Union's defeat, the dispute reflected that it was a culmination of dissatisfaction of … The worst incident occurred in Auckland on 1 June – dubbed ‘Bloody Friday’ – when police violently dispersed up to 1000 marchers in Queen Street. When no agreement could be reached, union members were locked out. It lasted 151 days, and 22,000 New Zealanders were affected by the lockouts and associated strikes. Description. Therein the cause of the waterfront disputes was attributed to the attitude of "Barnes and Hill" on the various waterfront Commissions, and to the machinations of the Communists. The Labour Party was in office since 1936, a Peter Fraser had been New Zealand's war Prime Minister. The 1951 waterfront lockout began, in February 1951, as a dispute between ship-owners and watersiders over wages. New Zealand entered a mutual defence pact with the United States and Australia – ANZUS Population. 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More than half a century later, the 1951 dispute continues to hold a central place in the history and mythology of the New Zealand labour movement. Sensing victory, the National government took a hard line with the unionists. The regulations applied to children too. This dispute gives the Labour Party a good weapon with which to fight the next election. The electorate delivered the government a resounding victory, with National winning 54% of the vote and four more seats than in 1949. There are interviews with many involved, from … It is easier to understand the manoeuvres of parties involved in the waterfront dispute, if these objectives and constraints are kept in mind. The 1951 waterfront dispute The Government's industrial relations policyregarded the awards and orders of t… The Cold War. The nation’s wharves soon came to a complete standstill. In 1951, New Zealand temporarily became a police state. The waterfront occupied a strategic place in New Zealand’s export economy and had long been a flashpoint of industrial conflict. Militant unionism was dealt a crushing blow. The dispute was took place immediately after the end of the Second World War in a climate of Cold War suspicion. The Coalition was elected to government in March1996 having made commitments to the electorate to improveefficiency and the labour market by substantially restructuringindustrial relations, particularly by offering greater choice inmany aspects of industrial relations. It lasted 151 days, and at its peak involved 22,000 workers clashing violently with the New Zealand government. As the cost of living soared, workers demanded higher wage increases. I agree with outofthewoods, most material surrounding the 1951 Waterfront Dispute is in support of the ‘wharfies’ as opposed to the Government or Federation of Labour for instance. Sharpeville Massacre: What were its causes and what were its effects in South Africa and internationally? 1974, First day of competition at Christchurch Commonwealth Games, Home The Australian waterfront dispute of 1998 was an event in Australian industrial relations history, in which the Patrick Corporation undertook a restructuring of their operations for the purpose of dismissing their workforce. Politics and government The 1951 waterfront lockout is probably the most famous industrial dispute in New Zealand history, although it wasn’t the largest-scale such dispute. During World War II, the New Zealand government played a much larger role in peoples’ lives than it ever had before. The 1951 waterfront dispute; The decline of the arbitration system; Social impact of labour disputes; Legislation from the 1990s; External links and sources; Page 9. Arts and literature. 1951 Waterfront Dispute papers and ephemera. As the dispute dragged on into winter, there was widespread intimidation and sporadic outbursts of violence. The Waterside Workers’ Union protested by refusing to work overtime from 13 February. One illustration of the implications ofthe new legislation is the waterfront dispute which began to unfoldin January 1998. The Government also made commitments at the 1996 election to reform the Australian waterfront. Civil liberties were curtailed, freedom of speech denied, and people could be imprisoned for providing food to those involved. Meanwhile, Walter Nash’s Labour Party Opposition sat uncomfortably on the fence, denouncing government repression but refusing to back either side. The year was dominated by the 1951 New Zealand waterfront dispute. Protest and reform Read the full article. There were a wide range of economic, political and social causes to the waterfront … The 1951 Waterfront Dispute lasted for 21 days, compared to 1893 waterfront strike which lasted for 10 weeks and 1913 waterfront strike that lasted for 8 workers. This did not apply to waterside workers, whose … Arguing that New Zealand’s vital export trade was under threat, the National government declared a state of emergency on 21 February. The Second World War saw an unprecedented expansion of government control over the lives of New Zealanders. It polarised politics … 15 February: The start of the "1951 Waterfront dispute" a massive labor strike lasting for 151 days. The 1951 New Zealand Waterfront Dispute: Home Key People and Groups Escalating Tensions The 151-day dispute The Aftermath Gallery Blog The second Federation of Labour. We have 9 biographies, 9 articles, related to The 1951 waterfront dispute. The opposing sides denounced each other by abusive names as Nazis, Commies, traitors and terrorists. Bombing and result. Waterfront workers were unhappy with their working conditions and wages due to the current financial hardships, so up to twenty thousand of them went on strike to oppose these circumstances. Their employers locked them out of the workplace, and the government banned union meetings and publications. Prime Minister Holland denounced it as ‘an infamous act of terrorism’. Under the pragmatic leadership of Prime Minister Peter Fraser, the Labour government introduced military conscription, industrial manpowering and a comprehensive economic stabilisation system. 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Jock Barnes, meanwhile, had been sentenced to two months in prison for 'defaming' a police constable. I got the impression it was stolen but now I know there were friendly farmers who donated sheep, and market gardeners who gave vegetables, and tradespeople who provided other goods and services for nothing. Social impact of labour disputes . Women and children felt some of the worst effects of the emergency regulations introduced during the 1951 waterfront dispute. Supporters even tried to set up a ‘freedom radio’ station with a transmitter hidden deep in the Wellington hills. Politics and government The dispute was a family event as well as an industrial event. This country’s two largest strikes prior to 1951 – in 1890 and 1913 – were both largely centred on the wharves. Korean War. Prime Minister Sidney Holland‟s National government took control of the dispute, seeing an opportunity to destroy the New Zealand Waterside Workers Union (NZWWU), which was a militant union in a key sector of the economy. … Despite the scale of the 1951 dispute, the wider labour movement was not united behind the watersiders' cause. Page 3. One victim suffered a suspected fractured skull, and 20 others had to be treated for lacerations, concussion and bruises. Eventually, after a five-month struggle, they conceded defeat on 15 July. As well as attacking the government, watersiders’ propaganda denounced Fintan Patrick Walsh and other Federation of Labour leaders as rats who had betrayed the workers’ cause. It was illegal even to give food to strikers’ children. The 1951 Waterfront Dispute was a significant event in New Zealand's labour history. In fact, only 8% of the country's union members took part in the dispute – the other 200,000 continued working. Jock Barnes’s wife, Freda (Fuzz) Barnes, organised the wharfies’ Auckland Women’s Auxiliary, which helped co-ordinate the relief effort for workers’ families. Radio and television. The opposing sides denounced each other as Nazis, Commies, traitors and terrorists. We have 26 biographies, 9 articles, related to The 1951 waterfront dispute. A key political cause the 1951 Waterfront Dispute was the general dissatisfaction of Labour Government during and after the Second World War. The domestic work of ensuring that a family managed without wages was largely women‟s and was as much part of the dispute as collective union work, which was often organised to exclude women. The 1951 waterfront dispute was the biggest industrial confrontation in New Zealand’s history. The 1951 waterfront dispute was an epoch in New Zealand history. Supermarket workers strike, 2006. It was illegal even to give food to strikers’ children. The 1998 waterfront dispute was a time when bad things were allowed in the name of policy goals that were, ultimately, meaningless. The 1951 Waterfront Dispute: What caused it, what were its consequences, and why did it polarise New Zealand society? 3:56 PREVIEW Idle Ships. In response, the locked out workers began to strike. Fintan Patrick Walsh and other FOL leaders called on wharfies to ‘abandon their Communist-dominated misleaders’. Between February and July of 1951, up to 22,000 waterfront workers (wharfies) in New Zealand struck for better pay and shorter workings hours. America's crusade against communism struck a chord in New Zealand during the 1951 waterfront dispute. See: 1951 in music. This photograph was taken on 5 June. After years of restrictions and shortages, the economy was booming. Don't Scab! This site is produced by the History Group of the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Pre-1840 contact, Holidays and events, The arts and entertainment, Disasters, Transport, Health and welfare, Decade studies, Sport, Crime and punishment, Immigration, Lifestyle, Places, The great outdoors, Memorials. In January 1951 the Arbitration Court awarded a 15% wage increase to all workers covered by the industrial arbitration system. When New Zealand watersiders demanded better pay and conditions in 1951, their employers refused. Site Quicklinks Culture & Society. The following day Prime Minister Holland warned that New Zealand was ‘at war’. The restructuring by Patrick Corporation was later ruled illegal by Australian courts. Labour MP Mabel Howard called the dispute ‘a war on women’, 1 because the wives of strikers had to survive with no income, and it was illegal for anyone to help them. Commercial re-use may be allowed on request. Commercial re-use may be allowed on request. The watersiders’ militancy had isolated them from most unionists, who were affiliated to the more moderate Federation of Labour (FOL). The 1951 waterfront dispute The Second World War saw an unprecedented expansion of government control over the lives of New Zealanders. Page 2 … This site is produced by the History Group of the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Their employers locked them out of the workplace, and the government banned union meetings and publications. The dispute between the government and the workers came to a head on February 15, 1951, when, after weeks of negotiations for a salary raise (due to the rising cost of living), dock employers locked out their workers. The 1951 waterfront lockout is probably the most famous industrial dispute in New Zealand history, although it wasn’t the largest-scale such dispute. All images & media in this story. The militant workers were determined to achieve the goal in bringing changes in the Arbitration system and confronting the Government. understand the end of the 1951 waterfront dispute, it is not enough, I argue, to examine the actions of union and political leaders like Jock Barnes, President of the New Zealand Waterfront Workers Union, and Prime Minister Sidney Holland. Despite the scale of the 1951 dispute, the wider labour movement was not united behind the watersiders' cause. In January 1951 the Arbitration Court awarded a 15% wage increase to all workers covered by the industrial arbitration system. Strike-breakers enter the wharves, 1951 A covered truck carrying strike-breaking (or scab) waterside workers enters a guarded gate at the Wellington wharves during the 1951 waterfront dispute. The 1951 Waterfront Dispute is event of great significance to New Zealand society, as it … Connie Birchfield recalled how: Somebody produced a slaughtered sheep to share. This study shows that homes were a site of the dispute. The men were fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, and their lack of wages affected the family that they lived with and their wider kin networks. Other unionists, including coal miners, freezing workers, seamen, hydroelectric power workers and some drivers and railwaymen, went on strike in protest at the government’s action. The 1951 Waterfront Dispute polarized New Zealand government and politics and split the union movement. Although it was not as violent as the Great Strike of 1913, it lasted longer – 151 days, from February to July – and involved more workers. Vietnam War. Although the waterfront was an overwhelmingly male world, women played an active role. Importance of the waterfront. On several occasions, unionist street protests were broken up by ranks of baton-wielding police. It lasted 151 days, and 22,000 New Zealanders were affected by the lockouts and associated strikes. 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