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1 correction by phillip.s - Show corrections

FERRY STRIKE

FREE BOATS.

GOVERNMENT RUNS

STEAMERS.

MANLY MEN OUT.

COMPANIES ENGAGE

FREE LABOUR.  

NO SETTLEMENT IN

SIGHT.

There were important developments in the ferry strike on Saturday.

The deckhands, firemen and wharf hands to the number of 80, working under an in- dustrial agreement with the Port Jackson and Manly S.S. Co., came out on strike on Satur-     day morning in sympathy with the men in the service of the Sydney, Balmain, and Wat- son's Bay companies.

In all about 350 ferry employees are now on strike, being 150 from the Sydney Fer- ries, Ltd., 100 from the Balmain, 90 from the Manly, and 16 from the Watson's Bay Com-

panies.

The Sydney, Balmain, and Watson's Bay Companies on Saturday made a request to the Minister for Labour and Industry for the temporary services of men in the Govern- ment employ to man some of the boats.

The three companies also asked for "ample protection for all the men our companies may employ, and their properties."

Mr. Carmichael sent a reply to the com- panies' letter, in which he refused to grant the request for Government labour to man

the boats.

As the result of a Cabinet meeting held in the morning, the Government actively inter- vened in the strike on Saturday afternoon, put- ting on free boats between Fort Macquarie and Milson's Point and to Cremorne.

There was a great scramble between 5 and   7 p.m. on Saturday for the boats, and at one time the iron shutters outside the Mil- son's Point boat ferry had to be lowered forc-   ibly by the police to stave off the rush.

It was novel to hear uniformed police- men acting as wharf hands, and crying   out in front of the wharfs: "This way for   Milson's Point," "Cremorne only."      

REASON FOR INTERVENTION.

The Government intervention was due to the companies not having, as Mr Carmichael an- nounced, accepted a proposal for settlement of the strike that he had placed before them.

The Minister's proposal was that the com- panies should not oppose the 48 hours a week demand which had been made before the   wages board, which, in the case of the Syd- ney Ferries, Ltd., means, according to Mr. Todd's statement, £20,000 a year extra cost

to the company.

The manager of the Sydney Ferries, Ltd.,     says that the hours dispute is the crux of the whole trouble. To grant 48 hours at existing rates of pay would mean for his com- pany £10,000 a year for the deck-hands and firemen, £15,000 for the engineers and cap- tains, and £5000 for the turnstile hands.

In addition, the cost to the Balmain Com- pany would be £7000, and about £1000 in the case of the Watson's Bay Company.

The first four Government boats that were run, the Pluvius, Lady Hopetoun, Dawn, and Dapspring were manned principally by ma- rine fire brigadesmen and Harbour Trust em- ployees resident at Goat Island.

The Harbour Trust authorities have called on the staffs of all their boats, and hope to have a much larger fleet available to-day.

HORSE PUNT IN COMMISSION.

The horse punt between Fort Macquarie and Milson's Point ran on Saturday till the Ship- wrights' Union threatened a general strike at the yards of the company unless one of their men on the boat, the captain, came out.

The dislocation of the ferry service has proved a great interference with business on the north side of the harbour. Tradespeople had to have their goods brought round by

road.

At many of the North Sydney suburbs on Saturday house delivery of meat and vege-  

tables ceased.

The police maintained excellent order at the wharfs on Saturday and Sunday, and ren- dered splendid service to embarking and dis-   embarking passengers. This, especially in the case of women with children, was highly ap-

preciated.

Yesterday the horse ferry service between Fort Macquarie and Milson's Point was re- opened, the steam punt being manned by five of the higher officials of the Sydney Ferries,

Ltd.

The police had to check constant travelling on the free boats on the part of a number of young people.

The chairman of the Manly Company, Mr. J. J. Eyre, says that his company intends try- ing to restore the service to-day, and that the company is receiving applications for em- ployment from captains and engineers.

The manager of the Manly Company, Mr. T. J. Doran, says that Mr. Carmichael's ulti- matum to the companies concerning the 48 hours a week claim is an interference with the     functions of the wages board.

It is regarded as not unlikely that proceed- ings in the Industrial Court will be instituted against some of the Manly Company's em- ployees for breach of their industrial agree-

ment.

A representative of one of the companies   stated yesterday that there was "no chance of   an immediate settlement."  

Three ferry companies are to-day advertis- ing for qualified masters, engineers, firemen,

and deckhands.

The Government has made arrangements for two Newcastle tugs to act as ferry boats   to-day, the companies providing wharfs at

Circular Quay.

TUGBOATS UTILISED.

Harbourmaster Captain Hildebrand was in- structed to get the tugs Pluvius, Dawn, and Dayspring ready for service. He carried out     his instructions promptly and in spite of the fact that crews had to be gathered from all parts of the city, the boats were ready to   take up their running in about an hour. The three steamers are typical tugs. They are as black and grimy as any of their class,   yet they proved welcome to waiting crowds.  

The strikers treated the Government's action with indiference. When the tugs pulled alongside the Harbour Trust's jetty     a small crowd moved round to watch pro-   ceedings. The barrier was up, however, and no one was allowed onto the jetty. Out-   side little knots of strikers gathered.  

It was intended at first to utilise the Har-   bour Trust's jetty for berthing the tugs, but   it was found more convenient to use Fort Macquarie, and for the time being that was   made their home port. The first boat to sail was the Pluvius. She moved out about 4 p.m. Her sailing attracted very little   attention. The strikers regarded the Gov-   ernment's efforts with indifference, and in no   way attempted to interfere with the arrange-   ments made. From 4 o'clock onwards the   Pluvius, Dawn, and Dayspring made regular   trips to Milson's Point and Cremorne, and   helped very materially to relieve the con-  

gested traffic. Later in the evening the Lady Hopetoun was pressed into the service, and

made several trips.

The popularity of the service grew rapidly. When it was learned that free trips were the order of the day, people forgot all about the grimy appearance of the boats, and were even prepared, to overlook the lack of seat- ing accommodation. To prevent the abuse of the free list, it is the intention of the authorities to restrict the use of the tugs to business people. By this means it is hoped that the convenience of the public will

be better catered for.

During the periods that the public are travelling to and from business, the Sydney Harbour Trust hope the people not on busi- ness will abstain from using the ferries unless absolutely necessary.

The Sydney Ferries, Limited, advertise a passenger and vehicle service between Milson's Point and Fort Macquarie between 8 a.m. and

6 p.m. to-day.

The Port Jackson and Manly S.S. Company is also advertising to-day for firemen, greasers, deck-hands, and brass boys.

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Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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