Story: Strikes and labour disputes

1913 waterfront strike, Wellington

1913 waterfront strike, Wellington

A sea of hats surrounds the gates to the Wellington wharves in the first days of the great waterfront strike of 1913. The strike broke out after Wellington watersiders were penalised for stopping work to discuss a grievance by fellow workers. The massed wharfies pushed past the few police guarding the gates and took over the wharves to prevent any ships loading or unloading. Within days the strike spread to other ports around the country and thousands of workers stopped work in support.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Sydney Charles Smith Collection (PA-Group-00242)
Reference: 1/2-046169; G
Photograph by Sydney Charles Smith

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Strikes and labour disputes - The 1912 and 1913 strikes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 September 2023)

Story by Mark Derby, published 11 Mar 2010, updated 1 Mar 2016