Countdown to May Day

1st May 2015 - May Day Dinner 2015

i Published 22nd April 2015 j May Day
Event Details
Event Date
1st May 2015 at 6:30pm
Event Location
8 Barrpowell Street, Welland, SA 5007

Tickets are now on sale for the Annual May Day Dinner.

This year's guest speaker is Greg Combet.

Friday May 1st, The Cypriot Club Welland at 6:30 pm

$45.00 Waged, $35 Unwaged

Phone 08 8150 8400 for tickets or email

History of May Day in Australia: Timeline

i Published 17th April 2015 j May Day

1791: Australia had its first strike when Sydney convicts demanded daily rations instead of their weekly rations.

1829: Printing Compositors and Carpenters win the right to be paid with real money, instead of rum.

1854: The Eureka Stockade in Ballarat is stormed by police and troops (30 miners and five troopers are killed). Peter Lalor and  comrades are found not guilty of rebellion.

1855:  August 18. Sydney stonemasons win 8-hour day, (6-day week) followed by Melbourne stonemasons on 21 April 1856.  

1856:  Workers in Australia decided in 1856 to organise a day of complete stoppage together with meetings and entertainment in support of the Eight Hour Day. The day was so popular and had such strong support that it was decided to repeat the Celebration every year.

1859: The first Trades Hall is opened in Melbourne. New South Wales recognises Trade Union Rights in 1881.

1881: Tailoresses in Melbourne form a Union to fight cuts to their piecework rates. Australia's first female trade union.

1882: The Adelaide Typographical Society sets up a workers' political party with other trade unions.

1886: The Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, USA, is seen as the catalyst for International Workers Day. Outrage as four unionists are executed triggering worldwide action

1891: In Barcaldine, Queensland, shearers go on strike. On 1st May, a parade of over 1300 unionists celebrate May Day. Their strike leads to the formation of the Australian Labor Party.

 1891: Adelaide has its first May Day March, after a long period of unrest on the Port Adelaide Docks.

1892: Broken Hill miners strike over wage cuts and  use of scab labour. 

1904: The Conciliation and Arbitration Act is passed and the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission is established.

1907: Justice Higgins hands down the 'Harvester Judgment' which establishes the principle of the 'basic wage'.

1916: The WW1 Conscription Referendum is narrowly defeated after the use of the Unlawful Associations Act fails to stop protests. A Second Referendum in 1917 is soundly defeated. Billy Hughes, Prime Minister resigns.

1928: Savage cuts to the wages and conditions of wharfies, coal miners and timber workers brings on a period of long strikes and violence  

1929: Wall Street stock market crashes heralding start of The Great Depression.

1934: Peace activist and anti-Nazi Egon Kisch beats deportation laws and addresses anti-war rally of 18,000 in Sydney Domain.

1936: Spanish Civil War. Seventy Australians enlist in the Free International Brigades. 

1938: Wharfies refuse Attorney-General Menzies' order to load pig-iron for Japan.

1939: Menzies becomes Prime Minister, declares war on Germany.

1941: Nazi Germany invades Russia.  Menzies resigns: Curtin becomes Prime Minister 

1943: 'Sheepskins for Russia' Appeal gets big support from workers.

1951: Australian voters reject the Commonwealth Referendum to outlaw the Communist Party.

1969: Over half a million workers strike in support of Tramways Union Secretary Clarrie O'Shea's release from Pentridge Gaol.

1998: Patrick Stevedores and the Howard Government use masked scab labor, trained in Dubai, to launch an attack on the wages and conditions of Maritime Union workers.

2007: Australian voters get behind a massive 'Your Rights at Work' Campaign, that rejects Howard's Workchoices legislation and elects a Labor government.

2008: Ark Tribe refuses to attend a conference of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) held to determine the legality of CFMEU members attending a meeting at the Flinders University Construction site to discuss safety concerns.

2010, June 15: Hundreds rally for first day of Ark's trial including international civil rights campaigners Gerry Conlon and Paddy Hill.  

2010, 24 June: Julia Gillard becomes Australia's first woman Prime Minister. 

2010, 24 November: Ark Tribe cleared of all charges.

2012: Hockey delivers his London speech: 'The End of the Age of Entitlement'. It sounds an early warning of what's to come.

2013:  Federal election on September 7 results in an Abbott-led government but Hockey's first budget sees Abbott's popularity tumble.

2014: Release of the imprisoned Cuban Five after 17 years of struggle paves the way for improved US-Cuba relations.

2015: Government cuts see the spectre of rising unemployment. 

On Sunday, May 3,  2015 come to the


10 am - Memorial Ceremony at the Workers Memorial, Black Diamond Corner, Port Adelaide. Then afterwards at the Council Rooms for morning tea.

12 noon - Barbecue and Refreshments at the Semaphore Workers Club, 93 Esplanade, Semaphore. All welcome

Authorised by D. Roberts President S.A. May Day Collective

2015 MAY DAY MARCH Saturday, May 2, 2015, 10.30 am

for 11 am march start 

Assemble at Torrens Parade Ground and march to Light Square via King William St. and Currie St.

Fight for Your Rights!

'The Origins of May Day began in Australia': Rosa Luxemburg

May Day Events 2015

i Published 9th April 2015 j May Day

Don't forget to write the details down in your diary for this year's May Day events:

SA May Day March, Saturday May 2nd 2015

March from Torrens Parade Grounds to Light Square. Meet at 10.30 am for an 11.00 am start.

Worker's Memorial, Sunday May 3rd 2015

Black Diamond Corner, Port Adelaide at 10.00 am

followed by a gathering at The Semaphore Workers' Club 93 Esplanade, Semaphore.

May Day Dinner, Friday May 1st 2015

Tickets are now on sale for the Annual May Day Dinner.

This year's guest speaker is Greg Combet.

Friday May 1st, The Cypriot Club Welland at 6:30 pm

$45.00 Waged, $35 Unwaged

Phone 08 8150 8400 for tickets or email

Fight For Your Rights

2nd May 2015 - May Day March 2015

i Published 9th April 2015 j May Day
Event Details
Event Date
2nd May 2015 at 10:30am
Event Location
Torrens Parade Grounds, Adelaide, SA, 5000

Right now is a very important time to fight for your rights!

Join us at this year's May Day march on Saturday the 2nd of May. 

We will meet at Torrens Parade from 10.30 am, Adelaide and march to Light Square at 11.00 am. 

Will include live music with South Australia's own Babylon Burning.

3rd May 2015 - Worker's Memorial 2015

i Published 9th April 2015 j May Day
Event Details
Event Date
3rd May 2015 at 10:00am
Event Location
Black Diamond Corner, Port Adelaide, SA, 5015

This Year's annual Worker's Memorial will be held at Black Diamond Corner, Port Adelaide. Please join us on Sunday 3rd of May at 10.00 am for the memorial, which will be followed by a gathering at the famous Semaphore Worker's Club 93 Esplanade, Semaphore.