Dunedin wharf during the 1913 strike

Dunedin wharf during the 1913 strike

Dunedin wharf during the 1913 strike.  The original caption reads: ‘A lorry being reloaded under police protection, after being unloaded by strikers’. There were a number of similar incidents after strikers attempted to prevent strike-breakers from working on the wharves. Some arrests resulted, but there was little violence in Dunedin during the strike.

In Dunedin and Port Chalmers at first only the watersiders and shipwrights went on strike. The Dunedin seamen were largely opposed to the strike, but joined it when called out by their union’s national executive. Employers set up an arbitrationist union on 7 November in an attempt to reopen the wharves. Special constables began enrolling 10 days later. Mounted specials from the country camped at Tahuna Park, but there were no violent clashes with strikers. The most dramatic event of the Dunedin strike was probably the arrest of all six members of the strike committee on charges of intimidation.

See more images of Dunedin during the 1913 strike here (Flickr)

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