Maritime Strike, 1890

The Maritime Strike was initiated in August 1890, by seamen, waterside workers and coal miners. It was over-ambitious and the outcome was a catastrophe for the men and their families. Scab labour was abundant and the exporters of wool and coal were all-powerful. When the men capitulated and returned to work in November, all had to accept lower wages. Militants and leaders were refused employment, and many were even evicted from their rented cottages.

The disaster was especially acute in the waterside suburbs. The Trades and Labor Council reported (according to The Star of 21 November 1890):

families cast into the streets [and] a remarkable number of empty houses in Pyrmont and Ultimo, where a majority of unionists resideā€¦