On 11 November 1913, the Evening Post reported on an act of sabotage at Denniston during the general strike. Sometimes called the ‘Great Strike’, this involved about 16,000 workers. It was led by unions such as the watersiders, miners, labourers and drivers, centred around the United Federation of Labour or 'Red Feds'. It was widely seen as a trial of strength between militant unions and employers and farmers, backed by William Massey's Reform government. Special constables and strike-breakers were employed, with violent clashes in some places, particularly on the streets of Wellington. The West Coast, with its militant coal miners, was another region heavily involved in the strike. The explosion at the winding shed on the Denniston incline temporarily stopped its operation. The Denniston incline was a rail system that transported coal trucks up and down the steep slope from the Denniston plateau. Despite the reputation of Denniston unionists, even the newspapers of the time admitted that the action was not likely to have been approved of by the striking workers.
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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Evening Post, 11 November 1913, p. 3
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