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The Rothbury Colliery “riot” of 1929

IT was December 16, 1929. Christmas was just around the corner, but it wasn’t shaping up to be a merry one for many residents of the Hunter Valley Coalfields of NSW. In March, thousands of coalminers had been locked out of their workplaces by mine owners whose profits were being eroded by the steadily unfolding financial catastrophe of the Great Depression. The mine owners wanted the miners to take a hefty pay-cut, but the miners refused – unless and until the mine owners opened their books and revealed the true state of their profits and costs.…

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