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United Iron Workers Assistants Society, Ballarat, Banner

Banner - United Ironworkers' Assistants Society of Victoria, Ballarat Branch Eight Hour Day

Image: Banner - United Ironworkers' Assistants Society of Victoria, Ballarat Branch Eight Hour Day

Source: Museum Victoria

By 1890, the eight-hour day procession was at its peak in Victoria. The Ballarat Branch of the United Ironworkers' Assistants Society, formed four years earlier in 1886, had made several major industrial gains. As a union of semi-skilled workers, the Society was especially keen to have a notable presence in the Ballarat eight-hour day procession.

The Society commissioned Kift & Smith, a local firm of commercial painters and decorators also used by many other Ballarat unions, to make a banner. On 21 April 1890, the Society's banner debuted in the Ballarat eight-hour day procession.

The Ballarat Star newspaper described the event thus: ''Eight Hours' Day - A day that is held sacred by the members of the Australian trades unions, as marking the anniversary of the introduction of a great principle - was yesterday again celebrated in Ballarat in a manner befitting the occasion?These demonstrations have been very successful in past years, but yesterday's celebration was favoured with the greatest success that has yet been achieved? The banner of the Ironworkers Assistants' Union?made its first appearance in public'.

The banner?bore the inscription, 'United Ironworkers Assistants' Society of Victoria, Ballarat Branch. By unity we stand.' On the other side the first portion is repeated with the addendum, 'Established 1st February 1886,' while on both sides appears the representation of the emu and the kangaroo.

References:
Ballarat Star, April 1890. 

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