• Short Summary

    Aboriginals working on the cotton fields of northern New South Wales are organising strikes to protest working and living conditions.

  • Description


    GV workers in cotton fields
    25 ft


    Abo drinking
    30 ft


    Crowds at Wee Was protest meeting
    38 ft


    Police and crowds: getting signatures on petition
    47 ft


    CU abo. girl
    50 ft


    GV protest group
    60 ft


    Abo. leader interviewed
    72 ft


    Cotton field owner interviewed
    103 ft


    GV abo. humpies and shacks at river
    117 ft


    Abos. at store
    127 ft


    Abo. interviewed - worker
    139 ft


    GV cotton fields and workers
    145 ft



    Initials



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Aboriginals working on the cotton fields of northern New South Wales are organising strikes to protest working and living conditions. Aboriginal leaders describe the conditions as "slave labour". One spokesman, Mr. Paul Coe, said that if white men were working under conditions like those in Wee Was, the Australian trade union movement would be up in arms.

    About 1200 aboriginal workers on the fields have formed the Cotton Chippers' Caucus -- a new body aimed at protecting itinerant farm labourers from exploitation. The cotton chippers work up to ten hours a day for one-dollar-20(Aust) per hour. After they finish work they go back to riverside shanties and "humpies" with no toilet facilities and no recreation areas.

    Cauous leaders say workers have been collapsing daily from heat exhaustion intemperatures up to 120 degrees fahrenheit. Another complaint is that aboriginals are exploited by Wee Waa tradespeople who allegedly put up prices during the three-month cotton picking season.

    Some of the cotton farms are owned by Americans.

    At Wee Waa this week aboriginals held a protest meeting and collected signatures to form the new Caucus. Meanwhile the operations manager of the WEe WAA Cotton Co-operative, Mr. Greg Lynch, said that most cotton chippers were "very happy" with conditions and it was untrue to say they were working in slave labour conditions.

    The aboriginal group intends to call further protest meetings and strikes until action is taken on their requests for better general conditions.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA3Y09IF79CXLUJ33PXONABNWAY
    Media URN:
    VLVA3Y09IF79CXLUJ33PXONABNWAY
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/03/1973
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:04:04:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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