Railway Navvies Strike

Launceston Examiner Tuesday 21 November 1865 p. 2.
The weather has been very hot-thermometer 80 in the shade, and 110 in the sun.

THE RAILWAY NAVVIES' STRIKE.—At Toowoomba, the navvies on the Railway, struck on 31st October. They demanded eight shillings for eight hours' work—the present price rating between five shillings and seven and sixpence.

They sent delegates along the line to Ipswich, to prevent the men from working; and a procession, consisting of about a hundred men, left Toowoomba, and, amidst great cheering, announced their intention of proceeding to Dalby.

Later accounts say that the men employed on the Dalby line have struck. They were advised by Mr Edwards, the representative of Mr. Bourne, not to be guided by representations made to them ; but the majority of the men decided upon a strike. A gang proceeded along the line for the purpose of inducing the other men employed on it to follow their example.

The gaugers or overseers, have collected all the tools and placed them in safe custody. Special constables are sworn in in case of emergency.

The men held a monster meeting at Ballard's Camp on Thursday morning, 2nd Inst. The speeches were of a temperate character, and the general opinion appeared to be in favor of arriving at a settlement of the difficulties in a quiet manner.

Six of the ringleaders were apprehended on Wednesday evening, and were brought up at the Police Court next morning. Five were discharged with a caution, and one was fined £2 for using threatening language.

A telegram from Toowoomba dated 9th last., say ;—The strike still continues, but some hundreds of men are willing to turn to work.

Mr. Willcox and Mr. Edwards (the representatives of Mr.Bourne) offered the men 9d per hour, and allow them, as they desire, to work for only eight hours. Mr. Willcox said he could afford to hold out for six months if the strike continues.

Subsequently the navvies employed on Board's contract of the Southern and Western Railway resumed work. They state that they were compelled to strike by Pete Brausey and Co.'s men, who are still idle.

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