november / 30


30th November, 1909 : The New South Wales Government threatened today to confiscate all coal and take penal action against striking miners, if a settlement cannot be reached. The strike began in Newcastle 22 days ago and has created havoc across the country. More collieries have closed and waterside workers have joined in, refusing to lump what coal is available. The miners want a share of the owners’ increasing prosperity and have demanded higher wages and better conditions. The fuel shortage has forced other industries to shut down factories and putt off labour. Steamers in the coastal trade have had to lay up, running limited passenger and few freight services. Fares and freight costs have risen. All public transport in Sydney has been reduced and more than 100 interstate and foreign vessels have been holed up in Sydney Harbour, waiting for fuel. In Victoria, train services have been cut, paper mills shut down and factories closed.

[Day lost from strikes and lockouts nearly doubled in 2011 to its highest annual level since 2004 in the first significant rise under Labor’s Fair Work laws. Nearly a quarter of a million working days were lost in 2011 to industrial action, Bureau of Statistics data shows.

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