The strike at Waiorongomai in 1884
Hart, P. (2016). The strike at Waiorongomai in 1884. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 82). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10400
After the initial crushing produced lower returns than expected, the decision of mine owners to reduce costs by cutting wages provoked a strike to retain the former rates of pay. A particular cause of the sense of injustice was the unexpected manner in which this decision was announced. The owners’ justification of having no alternative was accepted by some but challenged by others, with some newspapers supporting the miners. A widely predicted outcome, that the best miners would leave the field, would be fulfilled. The strike gradually faded, leaving some strikers facing retribution, although the miner who chaired the meeting that voted to strike was not one of those. Wages were also cut in the battery and on the tramway, provoking a strike on the latter. Although the employers won, the strike and the resultant loss of good workers meant another lowering of the reputation of the field.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart