Our back pages: Black Friday / General Strike

This picture is from a collection held by the John Oxley Library / State Library of Queensland (W. Davies collection).

The 1912 Brisbane General Strike began when members of the Australian Tramway Employees Association were dismissed when they wore union badges to work on 18 January 1912.

Photo shows special constables on the corner of Melbourne and Stanley Streets, South Brisbane.

43 unions came out in sympathy with the tramway workers on 28 January, creating the first general strike in Australian history.

Friday, 2 Feb 1912, a day of infamy, became known as Black Friday.

The general strike lasted five weeks, then was miserably called off.

To find out more about this came about read Ernie Lane’s Dawn to Dusk – reminiscences of a rebel.

However, it turned the tide, and three years later, Queensland elected its first full-term Labour government

Publisher: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland (W. Davies)

[Thanks to Errol, Peter
and Jim for this back page on

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