Strikebound (1984) - full transcript

When I came to Australia,

I saw long queues of people
waiting for jobs, and that was in 1928.

Wattie couldn't get work in Melbourne,
he tried many places.

Well, life was pretty grim.

I wasn't interested politically
at that period...

I did all my severe learning
in Korumburra.

Well, nobody I think could realise

the spirit of defeatism that was
in the trade union movement.

As I say the waterfront workers
were defeated,

the timber workers were defeated,
the miners were defeated...

...and there was a whole air of pessimism,
there wasn't any leader

giving any lead anywhere, and plus
the fact of course that in the midst

of a capitalist crisis of over-production
nobody knew what to do about it all.

Watch yourself down there!

Don't worry about me.

I had been a member
of the Presbyterian Church...

...but I had some disagreement
with the Presbyterian minister,

and I decided that the Presbyterian
Church was no place for me...

and I decided
I'd join the Salvation Army.

I didn't realise at the time
what a snibber they'd got

with Wattie being a well
known communist.

I'll fix that up.

Come on.

Come on.

You going to enter it
in the Melbourne Cup this year, Gregory?

The morning shift would
start work at 8.00 am.

Conditions were dreadful.

There was no minimum pay.

Air had to be pumped down
form the surface.

There was barely enough to breathe.

Jesus Christ, look at that,
he must be using a bloody big shovel!

I wouldn't put it past him.

You got paid by the token.

Each miner had a different
number on his token,

and placed it on his skip
when it was full of coal.

The worst crime
a miner could commit

was to swap his own token
for someone else's.

Now when we obey someone we love
we obey them because of that love.

So when we obey our Heavenly Father,

we obey him not through fear,
but through love.

For instance, if you do something
for your Mum or Dad, you do it

because you love them,
not just because you have to.

Are you there, Tom?

Hi Tom, it's Wattie.

Hey, did the missus put the clamps
on you this morning, mate?

Get out of it.

Let's make a start.

Come on, get that out.

Hurry up.



Fire on!

Now Ronnie,

if your Mum asked you to go down
the road to do some shopping,

and you wanted to play,
would you not go for her?

Yes, ma'am, I'd go.

Now why would you go for her?

Well, I'd get a bloody good spanking
if I didn't.

Okay! Take 'em away!



Still on your first skip, Arthur?

Pull your head in, Wattie!

Come on.

Okay, good boy.

Come on, get up.

G'day, young fella.


Come on, get around!

Behave yourself!

Take it easy!

Pity it wasn't you, Doig.

I'll tell you now, the next man that breaks
safety regulations gets the sack on the spot.


Hey, over there!

Who's that?


At it again, King?



We got the evidence we need, have we?

He's been seen changing tokens.

All right, Peter?


Who's that workin' there?

What can I do for you two gentlemen?

Well, we hear that
you've been exchanging the skip tokens.

All right, lads...

Meeting up the top!

Back to your work,
there's nothing to be alarmed at.

They'll be on strike for a long time now.

How do you know this?

My Dad told me.
He told me there was trouble brewing.

I'm warning you two,
not one more peep out of either of you.

There you go, don't drop it.

My ball, my ball.

Come on, the top!

Hey, look out behind you!

Hey, you!

Put it down here.

Put it down there.

What do you think of that?

What the hell are you up to, Doig?

Well, we believe that you've
been sacking men...

for not observing the safety regulations.

What do you call all this, then?

- Is this observing the safety regulations?
- Jesus, mate!

Now I'm going to read to you
a list of decisions made by the men.


We do not work down the mine
without adequate ventilation.

Two... that the minimum rate
of fourteen shillings per shift be introduced.

And three, we will not go down the mine
with Sam King.

Or any other commonly paid thief!

I'll have you in court for that, Bell.

Oh, aye?

Then how do you explain
the missing skip tokens?

You bastard!

You! Lock the mine!


Get back in your hole.

Mrs Doig!

You haven't seen my husband
anywhere, have you, Mrs Doig?

Didn't he get
into some strife down the mine?

Wattie said he should be thrown
out of town for swapping tokens.

Did he not mention anything?

Well, don't let me see you out
and about or there'll be trouble.

Well, I'll be back to see him tomorrow.

That's a relief.

You there, Wattie?

Couldn't find the bloody house
in the dark.

Morning, Idris.

Good evening, Comrade,
take a seat over here.

Thank you.

Everyone here?

No, not yet.

Hey, just listen to this.

The local Labor member of parliament,
Mr W. G. McKenzie,

indulged in his first flight
by aeroplane on Wednesday

when Mr J.V. Fairbairn, MP, arrived
at the Dalyston Show.

It is something to appreciate that
political opponents...

can still show a spirit of kinship

by taking a man in his plane on a matter
in which opinions naturally vary.

Hey, will you bolt the door
behind you, please.

First, I would like to apologise for the
haste in calling you all together for this,

the very first Communist Party meeting
in Korumburra...

...but the unfortunate events
which took place earlier on today

at the Sunbeam Colliery, deemed
it necessary that we organise the men

as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Welcome once again
to our weekly praise meeting.

The apostle for today is St Andrew,

so I hope you've all prepared
your texts starting with the letter 'a'.

I'd like you to extend a warm
welcome to Comrade Idris Williams,

president of the Wonthaggi branch
of the Miners Federation of Australia.

And also to Comrade Meg Turner,
who has come over as the representative

of the Miners Women's Auxiliary
in Wonthaggi...

I'll now hand you over
to Comrade Doig...

...who will conduct the elections
for the Executive, and give a report.

Thank you.

Comrade Chairman, Comrades.

As Comrade Bell has already mentioned,
this is the inaugural assembly...

This is the inaugural assembly...

What's that?

The first bloody meeting!

Right, right.

We are at the brink of a long
and desperate battle

with the management of
the Sunbeam Colliery here at Korumburra.

He was not that light but
was sent to bear witness of that light.

That was the true light, which lighteth
every man that cometh into the world.

He was in the world,
and the world was made by him

and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own and
his own received him not

but as many as received him...

Comrades, first, I think we need
to form a broad committee to

somehow co-ordinate all the various
activities and organisations

and groups and everything, to raise
the finance for the miners and their wives.

Now, one of the reasons we won the Wonthaggi
struggle was the Women's Auxiliary.

Now, the whole nature of the Women's Auxiliary
can be much better explained to you

by Comrade Meg.

A new commandment give I unto you

that ye love one another
as I have loved you.

Revelations 3, verse 19:

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.

Be zealous, therefore, and repent.

Thank you, Mrs Doig,
and may the Lord add his blessing.

We shall all sing together Song
No. 680, six... eight... oh.

Comrade chair and comrades:

May I suggest we celebrate the arrival
of our esteemed General President,

Mr Charlie Nelson, by passing a motion
that will be put to the next union meeting,

to the effect that every member
of the Miners Federation of Korumburra

become card-carrying members
of the Australian Communist Party.

Here, here!

Now, as much as we appreciate
the comrade's good intention

in this matter, I must object to that.

Anyway, Comrade,
think what the Tories would say.

Bugger the Tories!

Well, if there's no more business
to attend to, I'll call on Comrade Doig

to read the decisions of the meeting.

May I suggest, Comrade Chair,
that we depart from convention

and finish this meeting with
a rousing rendition of 'The Red Flag'.

All those in favour...



What are you doing out here?

Getting cold!

We're on strike now.

I think I've gathered that by now.

Well, why don't you come away inside?

With all those cronies of yours
in there singing 'The Red Flag Forever'!

Well, they've all gone home.

All right, then.

Don't you ever do
that to me again, Wattie!


I've never been so embarrassed
in my life.

There am I at the Salvation Army meeting
and you lot singing your heads off...

King signed a letter saying
he'd leave town.

I should hope so.

Looks like you got visitors.

Bless me, it's Mrs King!

I'll just bring all this stuff in.

Come on, now.

It can't be all that bad.

Got myself into a bit of trouble here!

You'll sort it all out.

I hope so.

You'd better come in.

Come on, Josie.

Wait until I get in, you know.

- Well, better go in and face it!
- See you there.

Come on, Jake.

Well, come on in,
don't just stand there like a dummy.

This is my boarder,
and my daughter Josie.

Hello, there.

And, er... this is Josie.

Now, let's see what we've got here.

You standin' there, are you? In my pocket,
I might have something for you.

What do you think I might have here?

Oh yes, I might, look now, just see
if we can find something...

I got these in the shop today.
There you are. Do you want those?

There, that's for you.

You dropped one! Don't drop it.
Ohall I have this one?

You have it... Okay.

You dropped it again.

One... two... three...


Well, we're in a fine kettle of fish now.
We can all starve together!

It seems to me, that men who have
come to a district foreign to them,

and take on work
they know nothing about,

those men can only be
professional scabs

willing to break a union for a small fee.

It is not only the economic conditions
that force men to do this.

The company refuses to listen or
even discuss the situation with the union.

Mr Birch, the manager,
has had a lot to say,

and although he has had considerable
mining experience he is not always right!

The directors say
that the mine does not pay,

and that they cannot afford higher wages.

Yet, I've had a great deal of experience
with coalmining companies,

a great deal of experience,
and I have never yet

met a Board of Directors

so keen to exploit their
employees like Messrs

Downey, Birch and company.

Thank you, Mr Nelson, President
of the Australian Miners Federation.

Mr Idris Williams...

The Sunbeam Colliery is well known
by all miners to have the worst pay

and worst conditions of any mine
in the Commonwealth.

In fact, the entire world!

Since November 17th, 1935

we have made every effort to have
a meeting with the Board of Directors,

and twice we have been told
that this is impossible – to meet

with the Board of Directors –
the reason being

that the Chairman is in Western Australia
having a holiday!

Now, I've been asked to announce
that an evening of community singing

will be held at the Soldiers' Hall
in Korumburra next Sunday night,

and that I will have the pleasure
of conducting that evening.

Thank you very much for listening.

The local member of parliament...

Mr W.G. McKenzie,


I don't want the public to get the idea
that I'm sitting on a fence.

I've never done that, and I never will!

I've been told by Mr Downey,
director of the mine,

that he had not received
a director's fee for 15 years.

In fact, the mine was only kept going
in the interests of the men.

The Labor Party is behind
the men in this struggle,

and will do everything
in its power to help.

The public need not expect too much. After all, the
seamen and wharf labourers have just been beaten.

Who by?

- Tell us that, eh!
- Yeah, the Trades Hall!

No, no! Not the Trades Hall, my friend.

If you want to know,
scab labour beat them.

The Trades Hall!

Since scab labour's
been mentioned, Mr Chairman,

I'm surprised to know some
are present here at this meeting!

If we could let Mr McKenzie continue...

If anyone here has anything to say
on this matter they should do so,

not go away and say it on street corners.

At least, then, give the men the credit
for being honest

and straightforward,
and trying to find a way out of this problem.

Thank you, Mr McKenzie.

I'll now open the meeting
to any questions or comments

from members of the audience.

Mr Chairman,

I've been listening very closely
to what all the speakers had to say,

and I've heard our own Labor member
of parliament, Mr McKenzie,

quoted as saying that the trouble
at the Sunbeam Colliery was fomented

by an ex-Wonthaggi agitator.

I'd just like to say
that it makes me cross

when I see my husband and
other militants of the Miners Federation

and the Communist Party slandered
by our own Labor parliamentarian,

when the true worth of these people
is apparent for all to see!

Thank you.

Hey, give us a bloody chance!

Haven't got all day like some, mate.

Can't get any peace!




Oh ho, did you just call me?

Did you? What are you doing there?

You're playing in that water.

Look, the missus is making us a sandwich.

Do you want some of that sandwich?


I love a girl in uniform.

Push off, it's nothing to joke about.

Now look, we promised your father
I wouldn't let you lose your religion,

and I won't have you dropping it
for no political flights of fancy.

And what about last night?

Bashing scabs wasn't exactly in line
with the spirit of the meeting, was it?

Well, that's nothing compared to what
they've been doing to us, love, is it?

Is that the tops?

How many tops have you got there?

Tops in the bath,
are you giving them a wash?

And what's happened to Mrs High
and Mighty, then?

She's still in bed.

Your Mum's still in bed!

Wattie! Wattie, it's me, open up!

Don't knock the door down!

Wattie, they've caught a scab
down the mine!

Come out this way.

Hello Agnes!

We'll be back later!

Hold him still!

Hey, hang on a minute!

Hang on!

Take us to the mine!

Look, the line's dead!

They've cut the bloody phone!

You've really done it this time, Doig!

I'll see all you bastards in jail for this!

He seemed a bit upset, didn't he!

Okay Sid, let's go.

Dirty scab!

For Christ's sake, get out of here,
the police will be here any minute!


- Mrs Doig's been brought in, sir.
- Right.

Mrs Doig?


I'm afraid
I have to ask you a few questions

about an incident concerning
a miner at the Sunbeam Colliery.

It were no miner.

Well, that doesn't alter the fact
that a miner was set...

It were no miner, I wasn't there,
and I've a witness to prove it.

And it's only the fact that
I have an enormous amount of self-control

and patience that
keeps me sitting here against my will,

listening to all this drivel
and trumped-up claptrap!

I know the conditions
we have to live under,

and I know what it's like to starve even
when the men are working,

so I'll not have any pumped-up
little squirt telling me

who's a criminal and who's not.

And if it wasn't for this uniform
I'm wearing, I'd be out there

with the rest of them causing trouble and
making life hard for upstarts like yourself!

Looks like the Salvation Army won
that one!

Did you see his face?

You've got a real gift for public
speaking, you know that.

What did you interrupt me for?
I was just beginnin' to enjoy myself.

You know the situation, blokes.

What are they doing there?

They've been bought
in to protect the scabs, sir.

Jesus... that's all
we bloody need to start a revolution.

Workers all over the world are under attack
from the ruling classes

who are supporting the fascist regimes
in Germany,

and have unleashed a savage civil war

against the democratic
elected government of Spain.

Fellow workers, the capitalist class
finds the money for wool, but not for jobs.

Children go hungry while men
queue up here for a lousy dole payment.

Here in Korumburra, the miners
of the Sunbeam Colliery

have been locked out
by the mine management

merely for wanting a living wage
and better working conditions.

Our men are ruining their health
by working in foul air,

our families barely
have enough to eat...


Ernie Davis.

Yours hasn't arrived yet, Ernie.

What do you mean, it hasn't arrived?

I mean what I say,
it hasn't arrived yet.

Nothing I can do about it.

Fellow workers,
support the striking miners!

The Korumburra miners
are fighting for their lives.

If other workers support them,
they can win!

There's a meeting tonight, 7.30.

This is ridiculous,
we're just a bloody spectacle.

Hey, Ernie!

How did you go in that susso job, then?

We got them organised all right, but
my bloody susso hasn't come through!

What do you mean,
it hasn't come through?

Just what I say,
it hasn't come through.

They said for me to try some other time.

Bugger 'em!
I'll get in touch with Idris,

We'll call a meeting for this Sunday.

We'll bring out a leaflet:

Union organiser struck off the susso for
militancy. That's just what we wanted.

Good man.

What about my 34 shillings
and sixpence?

Don't worry about it.

I thought you were
told to take care of yourself.

For goodness sakes, Agnes,
don't you get on to me now.

I've just about had it, lass.

Walkin' around them streets,
putting out them pamphlets.

Have a cup of tea.

Yes, Agnes,
it might do me rheumatism a bit of good.

With reference to the report
of the public meeting held

at Korumburra on the twelfth,

concerning an industrial dispute
at the Sunbeam Colliery,

the directors of the company concerned
have issued a statement.

There has been no dispute
about wages paid.

Those working at the colliery know
that they are capable, if they like to work,

of earning amounts equal to those earned
by men similarly employed in other mines.

What a load of old dosh!

Since the commencement of the year
within a period of 34 working days,

the miners worked only 25 days,
and four stop work meetings were held.

Their wages have been
regularly paid every fortnight,

but the owners of the colliery
have not received any...

Hello, Ernie.

Wattie told me about your trouble,
that's good stuff.

What we've done is organise
a meeting next Sunday

and we'll put it to the people.

That's great stuff!

What have you got there, then?

Yes, I was going to tell you about this.

You see, I bumped into the town clerk.

I told him about the meeting.

You what?

And he says to me, "the dole money
has just come through",

so he give me the thirty-four and six

and a few things for the missus.

You sacrificed the entire working class
struggle for thirty-four and six

and a bundle of bloody clothes!

Shut up, Wattie!


The union method
of amicable settlement...

- Sorry, Idris.
- ...includes the intimidation of persons

who have been employed
to keep the mine going,

including the operations
of the basher gang from Wonthaggi.

Are we to understand from the meeting
that the public of Korumburra

prefer to support this type of individual,

or do they prefer
the mine to be kept open

and respectable employees retained
in its employ?

The directors' alternative
is to close the mine.

In conclusion, it is regretted
that Mr Doig at least

did not exhibit some of the courage
which he claims to have shown

by informing the speakers that some
of their statements were over the odds,

a fact which he well knew.

Hello, Billy, what's going on?

The police have been brought in to
raise hell. Everyone's fit to explode.

Now, for some reason,
they're not being let down the tunnel,

and the police
have been here all morning.

It's to them.

Yeah, they're still throwing stones
but I don't think...

They're not getting anywhere,
no-one's getting hurt yet.

That scab: I recognise him.

He used to be in 20 Shaft,
State Coal Mine,


Yeah. Got laid off in '32,

went to Melbourne for work.

It doesn't look like he got any.

Wonthaggi man, a coal miner...

Give us a buck up here.

If you don't make a sound
I won't hurt you. All right?

What are you doing here?

Don't tell the others, Wattie.

Blackleg! Scab!

You'll have to do me a favour.

No free labour in the pits!

What are you up to, Doig?

Are you in charge of all this?

Look, if you don't get them back right away
I'm going to start arresting them.

Well, are you going to unlock
this or what?

We're trying to get them out,
they should be out by this afternoon.

Well you heard the man.
They're on our side!

There's the little bastard!

Let's get him.

They're miners!

Get out!

One more move
and I'll blow the shit out of this place!

Now we didn't come here to fight...

We've come here
to put a proposition to you.

We'll get you, bastard!

Now, you have taken the jobs of men
who can't survive while they're working,

let alone while they're on strike!

Now, our proposition is this:

I don't know how much they're paying you,

and I don't care where you come from,

but we will give every man

10 pounds to take home, if he's
at the railway station tomorrow morning.

Yeah, well, what if we don't?

He's got gelly. It's going to go off!

Better get your head down!

Seven o'clock tomorrow?

Ten pounds in your hand.

Thank you.


You're to sign your name.

Okay, sign your name.

Just sign your name here.

Vlado Bastich.

Sign your name here.

Sign your name here.

All aboard!

Melbourne train now leaving!

All aboard!

Okay...sign your name there.

Come on now,
get a move on, the train's leaving.

Get a move on, the train's moving!

Take the money and get on the train,
John. Go on, get on the train!

That's a hundred and eighty pounds.

That's all there is for strike relief.

We'll take this side,

and you can take the other side.
- Once again he's with us today,

heed now his blessed commands
and obey!

Hear now his accents tenderly say:
"Will you, my children, come?"

Our bible reading is taken
from St. John's Gospel,

chapter 3, verses 16 and 17.

Hey, support the miners' strike!


Hey! Scab!


Stop, scab!

Stop him!

Stop him, someone, stop him!

Hello! Who might you be?

I paid that bloke 10 pounds
to get out of bloody town!

That's nearly a month's wages!

We should've just kicked him out
in the first place.

We found him!

Who's there?


Hey, Meg!

You looking for someone?

It's the police!

Quiet! Hold him still.

- Yes?
- All right, where's Doig?

I don't know what you're talking about.

Don't play round, missus.
He came up here fit to bust!


Good afternoon.

Don't worry about it, we'll get him later.


Do you need any help there, Wattie?

Why not? Why not?

I'll leave it to you, Harry.


Ladies and gentlemen,
he's arrived: Idris Williams.

Sorry I'm late. That's the way it goes.

I'd like to sing you a song now.

You've probably won't have heard
of it or know about it,

but I need your help: 'Cockles
and Mussels'.

What a good wee girl, then.
What a good...

Hello, boys!

You're looking for me?

We hear you've been
beating up scabs. Mr Doig.

It's a lovely evening, isn't it?

Come on, let's get him out of here.

You can't keep young kids up at this time,
man, it's the middle of the bloody night!

I demand to know
what we're being kept here for.

I think you know that, Mr Doig.

You're making a bloody fool of yourself.
You know that, don't you?

I can just see it now. 'Union Voice'

headlines: Union Organiser
Victimised for Militant Stand.

"Police action despicable,"
Says the Reverend Busby.

Come on, get in here.

Here's your prize witness,
and he doesn't even speak English.

Right, good night.

Thank you, George.

Good night.

Here, you count: One... two...

three... four... five six... seven...

eight... nine... ten... there!

Come on, then. Coo!

He didn't seem to like you
very much, Wattie.

That's probably because he's a Mason.

Go through the fence!
Sweetie, come on here.

Look! There's new wire!

Come down here, quick!

Get a move on here.

- Here, get the bairn.
- Give her to me.

All right, run!

Run woman, God, home! Quick!

They droop on the street...

and the pace of our sorrow
is marked by our feet.

We bring to a rest
that his life never knew...

our comrade, who lived
and died to save us from the foe.

I had a deep sympathy for the miners.

A deep sympathy for the cause.

I was beginning to realise
the falsity of things.

Here's Wattie now, and Charlie.

G'day Tom.

Hello, Freddie.

Brothers! Last night, the secretary
of our local branch here in Korumburra

had an attempt made on his life

by one of the company's hired gun thugs!

You can see
before you the sort of action

your friendly police force
are willing to take on the matter!

We have all the forces
of this state against us,

willing to kill people,
just so they can get their own way!

In Leongatha, there are 100 police
standing by in case of trouble!

Right. We've got work to do.


we have a gun in our hand.

If we drop it, they'll kick us to death!

For God's sake, don't drop it!

And I'll have some sugar too, please.

- Morning, Agnes.
- Morning, Les.

I'd like some bread, please.

Right you are then,
a half-loaf or a whole?

How's Margaret?

Fine, thanks, fine. You and

Wattie must come round to tea on Sunday.

I don't think so, Les.

Wattie can't stand capitalists,
even if they are relatives.

Well a half, or a whole?

I want you to do me a favour.

I'm going to place an order,
and I'm going to pay cash.

But the moment I buy these groceries,

I want you to forget
that I've ever made such a purchase.

You must be kidding.

It's essential that no-one finds out.

Are you sure he won't tell anyone?

He'd better not. He's my brother-in-law.

And he's not going to knock back
50 pound on the counter, now, is he?

Thanks, Antonia.

It's like sitting in a room
full of expectant fathers.

Leave 'em be, Wattie.

Bugger this. I'm off!

Thanks for nothing, mate.

Should've blown
the bloody thing up by now.

Yeah, meet you at the top of the pit.

That's it, lads.

All right, lads, give 'em hell.

Can't see, Wattie, give us a light.


Give us a hand, Wattie.

That'll wake the whole countryside!


What are you doing?

Jesus Christ! Push! Push!


Mind that wee log there, John.

It's looking bloody good, Wattie.

Anyhow, I'd better get down there

and get that bastard up
before we close the hole.

That'll give them a scare
if they come too close.

You'll get 10 years for this, Doig!

Geordie, now you listen to me.

We're running this mine now
so you do as you're told

and you'll not get into any trouble.

Now we've blown in that back heading,

so you tell Birch it's
no use trying to get in that way either.

Put plenty of grease there, Harry,
that'll dirty them up a bit.

Mind the step, Geordie!

Right. Now anyone else wants to leave,
now's the time.

Speak up, lads.

Okay, fill in the hole.

Now, you go easy with that gelignite.

We don't want to get anybody hurt.

We just want the publicity, okay?

Would you like to read it?

As of 12 o'clock tonight,

the striking miners
of the Sunbeam Colliery in Korumburra

have barricaded themselves
into the main heading of the mine,

in order to bring attention to their plight,

and demands for a living wage
and better working conditions.


Come on, Comrade, time to do your bit.

Now, let's get this straight.

Do you mean to tell me that
at right this minute our men have

barricaded themselves down
the mine tunnel?

Well, in fact, yes.

Well, why the heck
weren't we told about it?

The stay-in strike could only succeed
if complete secrecy was maintained.

The only people to know about it

were the District Management Committee

and three members
of the Women's Auxilliary.

And we know where their hearts lie,
don't we – in bloody Russia!

Be quiet!

That's them, all right.

Let's get the rail.

Right. Where's Doig?

I'm here. What's the problem?

I'm afraid we didn't bring
enough food for all you lot too.

You get out of it, Doig!

You're not going to ruin this mine.


We warn you that
you're trespassing on private property,

and unless you remove yourselves
peacefully we shall be forced to arrest you.

Just try it, copper!

I advise you to come out peacefully,
before anyone gets hurt.

Okay. Take the bloody thing apart.

Here they come, right!

Right... Get the bastards!

Get Doig!

He's got a gun!

Jesus, Doyle.

It's gonna blow, it's gonna blow!

Go over that stud!

That's dynamite there. Get it back.

No bloody gelly!

Look, we're defending the barricade
but not in bloody France.

Are you all right there?

I implore you, please.

Come up before
anyone is seriously injured.

The men are not coming out until the
managers agree to the Federation's demand.

What's going on in there, sport?

Come on, let's go!

Get you up!

Got you, Doyle, you bastard.

I don't think so. You'll not
bloody catch me, Birch.

Come on, Wattie.

I'll go to her.
She's a Salvanationist.

You can do them from here down.


We set out to organise
back-up support for the men.

Hey, come on!

Mr Birch!

Can you give us a statement on
the situation in colliery?

It's now 10 o'clock
on Wednesday morning.

We've turned the air compressors
on for the men below.

So far we've received
no motion or request from them,

and as far as I'm concerned,
they can stay down there till they rot.

Have you ever heard of mine workers
taking action like this before?

Now, if you model yourself on the
Wonthaggi Women's Auxiliary...

It wasn't a big Auxiliary,
but it was a strong Auxiliary.

We had a gallant little band of women.

- Relief is the distribution of food to the needy.
- That's it.

Entertainment would be keeping up

the morale of the men
throughout the struggle,

and propaganda is making sure that
the papers get both sides of the story.

Yes, yes.

About 12 o'clock last night.

They brought down the two back headings.

Yes, sir.

Dr Freeman's here,
to see the injured miners.

- Where is he?
- Here.

Those miners broke into the mine
at their own risk.

Any injury they might
have inficted upon themselves

are the consequences
of their own problem.

And if you attempt – so much as
attempt – to go into that mine,

I'll have you arrested for
trespassing like that! Clear?

Unused as I am to public speaking,
I shall be brief and to the point.

The notices of the first of September

were an attempt to break the men
and the union.

The men would go out

and the mine owners could employ anyone.

Well, yesterday, even the scabs
couldn't take any more,

and they went on strike until
their grievances were heard.

You're a liar!

Even if you are Edward Birch,

you'll behave yourself or get out,
like anyone else.

I think it only fair to warn
those noisy shopkeepers and

businessmen down the back,

that we're taking note of anyone
who heckles or speaks out of turn.

We have formed a Korumburra
Miners Women's Auxiliary,

who have unanimously pledged their
support and backing of the men

in their struggle for a living wage
and better conditions,

which is the right of all working people.

Why don't you join in, lads, eh?
I thought you'd know the words.

George. Wasn't that you we saw creating
a disturbance at the meeting last night?

Of course it was him.
I saw him at the back of the hall.

A lot of miners' wives shop here,
don't they?

Well, they don't any more.
You're on the blacklist.

What about the others?
What about Dr Freeman?

Dr Freeman?

Was he there, carrying on?

Right then.
we'll boycott Dr Freeman, too.

But we'll also make sure
he finds out who told us.

Bloody red bitches.

Are we really going to boycott
Dr Freeman?

Of course not.
Health comes before politics!

He's the only doctor for miles!

A large group of women came,
there was quite a few.

Wonthaggi came down with us,

and a very strong group
marched down on Korumburra mine.

We were all intent on one thing,

that we would meet these miners

in the best of spirits
when they came out at 3 o'clock.


It's 3 o'clock.

We now head back up to the surface.

You can start dismantling the barricade

and we'll make our way
back up to the top.

We're not moving until we reach
an agreement with the Board of Directors.

Don't be bloody daft,
we've got to go back up there

because Idris is waiting for us
at the surface now at 3 o'clock.

Come on now, let's go!

Come on, it's 3 o'clock,
it's time to leave!

Where are the men?
Why aren't they out here?


The men didn't come out.

The men have been down the mine now
for almost 56 hours.

We've heard nothing.

This dispute has been in progress
for almost 6 weeks.

Get 'em out.

It's now 5 o'clock.

We have achieved everything
that we set out to do.

He's right, comrades.

But we can't back out now,

not till they agree to our demands!

We might as well cut our own throats!

We were supposed to be out of here
at 3 o'clock.

I am leaving now. Anyone who
wants to come with me, they're welcome.

He's right, lads, we've made our point.

Let's go and get our photos taken.

I'm proud to be a member
of the working class.

They've done heroic things.
And they'll do more heroic things.