Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Strikers' Camp Library

6 January 1891
Library of the strikers' camp at Barcaldine, 1891
Wikimedia Commons

The first union strike camp of Australian sheep shearers was set up in Central Queensland on 6 January 1891.  Strike camps were formed outside the towns when no landowner in the area was willing to accept the workers on their conditions. The shearers' camp and library held out until June. The strikers' demands included the protection of union power, the continuation of existing pay rates and the exclusion of cheap Chinese labour. Although the strike was eventually lost, it was seen as instrumental in the development in the Australian labour movement. The Queensland Shearers Union (1887) gave birth to the Australian Workers Union.