Extra, extra: newspaper boy strike

Members of the crowd watch the judging of animals at the North Otago A. and P. Society's 51st...
Members of the crowd watch the judging of animals at the North Otago A. and P. Society's 51st annual show at Oamaru. - Otago Witness, 26.11.1913.
The boys who cry the newspapers in the evening put a pistol at the heads of the proprietors in Christchurch on Monday (says the Lyttelton Times) with a demand for higher pay.

They claimed an extra twopence a dozen, equivalent to a 50 percent increase.

The industry could not stand the strain, the strikers were told.

The announcement was received with derision, and what followed was a close imitation of what the boys believed was the attitude that organised labour would take in the same circumstances.

What led up to the strike is not clear.

The Star boys, at all events, have been regarded as a satisfied body of workers.

But adult agitators got among them during the afternoon and fomented industrial strife.

At 4 o'clock, the demands being unsatisfied, a demonstration took place in Cathedral square and the vicinity of the publishing room.

The boys armed themselves with rolls of paper, and prepared to assault ''blacklegs''.

The men who sell papers were not molested, but there was a good deal of excitement, and two adult partisans had a free fight in the right-of-way.

Negotiations were still fruitless, and the small boys surged yelling round to another newspaper office.

This did not greatly affect the sale of papers.

Those who had a monopoly did a roaring trade, and no acts of violence took place.

A man in the crowd seemed to be the organiser of the strike, and he led the boys down towards the Trades Hall where they believed they would be able to form a union.

After the boys had been in the Trades Hall for some time Mr H. Campbell appeared on the steps, and addressing the large crowd who had assembled there, announced that the boys had formed a ''Ref Fed'' Union, 40 strong, and would demand that they should be charged only 6d for a dozen copies, the same price as was charged to men runners.

He asked all present to refrain from buying the evening journals unless the boys' demands were agreed to.

A little after 5 p.m. the boys formed a ragged procession, and visited the various corners where men were selling papers, and hooted them and called them ''scabs''.

This was repeated in High street and created a good deal of diversion.

• A New Plymouth resident had a rather eventful motor cycle trip to Napier a few days ago (says a North Island paper). He was new to motor cycling and he had just bought a machine.

After one ride on it he decided to visit Napier. At Stratford he ran into a gate, and a little further on he collided with another gate.

Then he was mis-directed and he turned off the proper route into a ''blind'' road at the end of which he ran into a river.

His next adventure was at a spot where the railway line crossed the road.

He went over a cattlestop, and was thrown about eight feet up the line.

The last incident was running over a dog. With all these mishaps he was scarcely injured, and the motor bicycle did not need even the slightest repair; in fact, the cyclist did not have to open his tool-bag once in the whole time. - ODT, 26.11.1913.





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