Historical information

The 1889 London Dock Strike grew from unrest about poor living conditions as a result of the casualised labour force. Money raised in Australia (30,000 pounds) helped to support striking workers to continue the action and feed their families. The strike led to the formation of the General Labourers' Union and strengthened unionism amongst dockers.

The 1890 Maritime Strike: marine officers walked out because shipowners would not negotiate terms and conditions of employment whilst the Mercantile Marine Officers' Association was affiliated with the Victorian Trades Hall Council. Union officials proposed to disaffiliate on the condition that employers would agree to meet and reach a compromise with union delegates. The shipowners refusal to meet triggered strike action.


The London Dock Labourer's Strike correlates with significant National growth in the trade union movement.

The Maritime Strike demonstrates an historical example of an employer's attempt to undermine workplace unionism. Parallels (i.e. employers attempting to weaken union power) have been drawn between this and the Australian waterfront dispute of 1998.

Physical description

Bound, paper, 1 volume