1920 – 1930: 1928 Strike

In 1928 waterside workers went on strike over their conditions. Ship owners backed by the Federal Government, recruited non-union labour, it was estimated that 1,100 non-union men were at work in Port Melbourne and tensions were high.

On 3rd November 1928 a group of union members assembled at Princes Pier intending to challenge the non-unionists but were persuaded by moderate union leaders to leave the pier. As they did so the police fired on them wounding several men. One of them, Allan Whittacker, died from his wound. This incident embittered waterside workers for decades after. From then until the beginning of World War 2 many men never found work.

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