The Cork harbour strike of 1921

The Cork harbour strike of 1921

New York Times article where dock workers took control and expropriated money to pay wages.

Intervenes and quiets a tense situation when workers seized board offices, had hoisted a red flag.
Men return to jobs after Sinn Fein Labor Ministry has negotiations reopened.

As a result of the refusal of the Cork Harbor Board to increase the wages of its labourers to a minimum of 70s. a week, a tense situation arose today, which was terminated only be the intervention of the Dail Eireann.

The Cork Transport Workers' Union decided yesterday that, failing the granting of their demands, they would take possession of the Harbour Board's offices and assume complete control of the port.

At noon today1 the union men, headed by R. Day, himself a member of the Harbour Board and of the Cork Corporation, entered the offices of the Secretary of the board, Sir James Long. Mr Day informed the Secretary that he had come to take charge, and when Sir James refused to submit to the new regime he was "instantly dismissed." A similar fate was meted out to the other members of the staff.

When the strikers took possession of the Harbour Board offices, they hoisted a red flag as a token of Soviet control and the strikers' leaders announced their intention of collecting dues from shipping agents and using them to pay members of the union.

Cork is a Sinn Fein city, and the strike interested the city not so much from the point of view of the wage war but from the effect it might have on the present national peace negotiations. It was said openly that the act of the strikes amounted to treachery to the nation and it was urged that unless negotiations between the Harbour Board and the strikers were at once resumed, the Irish Republican Army should clear the building of strikers and reinstate the Harbour Board.

However, the intervention of the Labour Ministry of the Dail Eireann altered the situation, and the negotiations between the Harbour Board and the strikers were reopened, as a result of which it is expected that a settlement will be arrived at. The men are to resume work pending a decision.

Shipping in the port has not been seriously affected.

Taken from the NY Times, 7 September 1921

  • 1. 6 September
The Cork harbour strike of 1921.pdf62.5 KB


Feb 26 2016 00:23

Thanks to whoever bumped this.