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1.3 1885 Victorian Employers’ Union

<p>Wharf labourers working under police protection during the 1890 maritime strike</p>

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland; Negative number: 12096

<p>Wharf labourers working under police protection during the 1890 maritime strike</p>

The second half of the nineteenth century saw more and more workers joining unions. These unions existed to protect the workers, and improve their pay and working conditions. The basic idea was that people organised as a group could be more effective than as separate individuals.

As unions grew in size and strength, they also combined to help each other.

What would the individual employers do in response? Would they also start uniting with each other to increase their strength against the better-organised unions?

Read the information about the formation of the Victorian Employers’ Union in the Defining Moment in Australian history: 1885 Victorian Employers’ Union formed. Use that information to answer these questions.

Look back at the Key Questions. Which of these questions do you think you can now answer fully? Which need more research?

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