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Medal - Pass, Melbourne Wharf Labourers' Union, Australia, 1885 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20358

Medal issued in the same year that the Melbourne Wharf Laborers' Union was formed. In 1885 ship owners outraged waterside workers by refusing to let them attend the Eight Hour Day anniversary march. Trades Hall representatives stepped in and the Melbourne Wharf Laborers' Union was formed.

Action taken by stonemasons on 21 April 1856 led to the establishment of the Eight Hour Day, with the government agreeing that workers employed on public works should enjoy an eight hour day with no loss of pay. It was a world first and became emblematic of the rights of labour. In recognition of the significance of this achievement, April 21 was made a public holiday in 1879 and commemorative marches were held each year from 1879 until 1951. The Eight Hour Day holiday was renamed Labour Day in 1934. In 1955 the Labour Day march and celebrations were replaced by Moomba celebrations.
A copper medal (27 mm diameter) featuring the 888 of the eight hour movement and wharf labourer's tools, a spade an shovel and a bale hook.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 27 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 10.63 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: 8 hours day movement, trade unions, working life, workers, workers rights, making history - eight hour day
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, Melbourne Wharf Laborers' Union, Victoria
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: trade unions
Series: Australian Union Medals
DateEra: 1885 AD
Obverse Description: At centre crossed spade, shovel and bale hook; in angles, 8 8 8 ; around, .MELBOURNE WHARF LABORERS UNION . 1885
Reverse Description: No. / ------------ stamped 246 above dotted line
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: 8 8 8 MELBOURNE WHARF LABORERS UNION 1885
Reverse: No. / ------------ stamped 246 above dotted line
Shape: Round
Material: Bronze
Issued By: Melbourne Wharf Laborers' Union, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1885

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