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THE DOCK LABORERS' STRIKE.

to the editor. Sir, —Prom what may be gathered from telegraphic statements, it would seem the employers are yielding to the demands of the strikers, and for this many are in the mind no more outside assistance is needed. But when we think that though these demands were all conceded the strikers are sti'l but at a starvation price, we can understand that sympathy from outsiders is still needed, and will be bo till such time as they get to command what may be called io justice a reasonable sufficiency. For it is not at all to be rightly supposed that these men will rest long satisfied with such a patch as that on the matter. While serving with patched shoes in the meantime, their aim must ever be not to stop short of having good new ones. Their success so far is very encouraging, and Burns, who is a leading spirit in the matter, has affirmed that the support given by the Australians has been the backbone of the strike. On this they well congratulate themselves; for, consider the importance of the matter. Whafr does it point out ? It shows that the time is not far off when to offer vulgar wages toany working man of able body will be looked upon as a great crime—a crime against the rights and the dues of many women and many children ; so that as yet it is but the beginning only of the matter, making it clear enough that at least our sympathy muet be kept up all the time. And it is to be trusted that, at the next meeting to be held for this purpose in Dunedin, workmen will torn up in large numbers to show they are as forward as the Australians are in sympathising with so important and deserving a cause as is the present strike in London. Perhaps nothing has happened in the nineteenth century so wonderful, so important, as this strike. Education has enabled workers to form themselves intounions, and by means of unions this strike i» possible, which is going on to say with more effect still: " Increase our wages ani reduce our laboring hours." Who, now,, but a true prophet could predict a hundred years ago that this was to be the case to-day. And yet it would seem that the poet Burns actually saw this in his day, and was glad. We actually see that, according to his predilections, class distinctions are giving way; that the rich are beginning to admit the bad state of the lower classes ; and that all round the world men are being bound by a chain of sympathy—a growing brotherhood. In his day, when there was no idea but to still reduce the wretched wages and increase the long hours of labor, his insight into the future led him to have a sure hope of better days for the wretched masses. And it is actually coming to pass before our eyes; and thus is Burns being revenged—for sometimes great men do get revenge —on stupidity and selfishness. And in doiug all we can to make the strike succeed we are but helping in this noble revenge foe Burns.

Let me ask everyone to bear in mind how very important it is that thefirst step taken in reference to any great undertaking should be success' ful. To have thorough success in the first greatly helps to have success in the next; and so on to the end. So let us be assured that, so far as we are concerned, this first step taken by the poor people in the Old Land will be so successful as to serve as a good foundation for more success, and more and more. Let us think with great regard of the noble-minded priests, and prophets, and poets who gave themselves up in sacrifice in some way or another to this end : that the wearied poor may be made a little rich and at rest; and that we can now return them pleasure by taking hold with both hands on these advantages they have long labored to bring within our reach.—l am, etc., A Sympathises. Dunedin, September 13.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890913.2.22.4

Bibliographic details

THE DOCK LABORERS' STRIKE., Issue 8011, 13 September 1889

Word Count
699

THE DOCK LABORERS' STRIKE. Issue 8011, 13 September 1889

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