The 1913 Great Strike

  • The 1913 Great Strike

    The Great Strike of 1913 was in fact a series of strikes between mid-October 1913 and mid-January 1914. It was one of New Zealand’s most violent and disruptive industrial confrontations.

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  • Page 6 – The 1913 strike in the South Island

    Although the 1913 strike had its biggest impact on Auckland and Wellington, the South Island's cities and mining towns were also affected.

The Blackball Shipping Company of England was a major shareholder in the company that started producing coal near the present site of Blackball in 1893. In the same year the township of Blackball (named after the company) was laid out, and sections were auctioned. After a successful strike in 1908, Blackball miners gained a reputation for being highly unionised and active socialists. A number of the leading strikers subsequently became leaders in the labour movement. The mine workings were nationalised in 1941, becoming the Blackball State Mine. Because of its high sulfur content, the coal was hard to sell, and the mine finally closed in 1964, though nearby mines stayed open.

Meaning of place name