From: Labour Struggles in South Africa The Forgotten Pages 1903 - 1921 by Evangelos A. Mantzaris


On the second day of January 1920, seventy labourers of the Denver Engineering Works went back to work knowing that their strike, although not dominating newspapers headlines, had brought into the limelight a form of resistance known as 'direct action 1' This action taken up by the workers challenged both the existing capitalist supremacy on the shop floor and the oligarchic and reformist bureaucratic trade union organisations. The Denver strike, original in all its features, opened a new direction for workers' action-that of open and direct confrontation with the factory power structure through direct syndicalist tactics and methods. These methods and tactics, leading to short-term victories for the workers, constituted a few exceptions to the rule in South African labour history, and there lies the historical significance of the Denver workers' strike.


The engineering division of the metal industries group had its roots in the inception of the Dutch Indian Company. 2The discovery of diamonds in Kimberley and the gold-fields in de Kaap, Barberton and Lydenburg gave a new impetus to the industry as did the opening of the Witwatersrand gold-fields. 3Relatively crude engineering facilities had to be created to keep engineering equipment in operation, as the practical difficulties of replacement of the machinery were enormous because of the high import prices. 4From 1876 onwards, several engineering foundries were established all over the country, some functioning as independent enterprises and others as parts of larger groups.

Mangolds was established in Port Elizabeth in 1886, Hudson and Hopkins in Cape Town in 1869, the Umgeni Iron Works in Durban in 1870, and Weight Boag and Rowe Jewell in Johannesburg in 1889 and 1893 respectively. 5Although the development of the mining industry was the prime reason for the rapid growth of engineering works, the former industry relied almost entirely on imported equipment and plant. 6This meant that the role of the local engineering firms was merely to effect those urgent repairs resulting basically from break-downs. The founders of these pioneering engineering enterprises were 'practical' men who had frequently served their time at particular trades and were craftsmen in the strictest sense of the word. The firms were usually partnerships and plant and equipment were primitive. 7This was the case until the turn of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th century. By virtue of the concentrated mining activity in the Witwatersrand, there was a natural tendency for engineering concerns to establish themselves in close proximity to the customer, so that swift service could be given to obviate the attendant problems of handling and transport repair jobs. 8Several of these establishments found themselves in a monopolistic position, as they had the necessary fixed capital to purchase expensive machinery from England and Germany. Although prior to, and during, the First World War, plant and machinery could not generally be obtained from the usual overseas sources, because of the acute problems in shipping, 9several engineering establishments saw themselves as more capable of capitalising on the demand of services than others. These concerns expanded their operations considerably and amassed vast amounts of capital in a relatively short period of time. 10This was possibly one of the major reasons for the relatively slow increase in the number of new concerns in the Witwatersrand area during the period 1915-1920. While the number of engineering establishments was doubled nationally during that period (there were 486 establishments employing 23 617 workers in 1916 as compared with 918 establishments and 37 942 employees in 1920), 11in the Witwatersrand there was a mere 23 per cent increase (233 establishments in 1916 employing 13 716 workers as compared with 303 establishments and 19 395 workers in 1920). 12

Many of the well-established firms were also given financial assistance by the state, especially after the resolutions and activities of the S. A. Federated Chamber of Industries following that body's Convention in June 1919. There it was suggested by the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Industries Advisory Board that technological advances in the metal industries were of paramount importance and that certain enterprises which had in the past received substantial financial assistance towards increasing their productivity should again receive substantial subsidies. 13Related to the higher technological zest of the state and the employers was the acceptance of the high standards of engineering products as set by the British Engineering Standards Committee. The government in 1920 adopted this 'code of professional ethics'. This was seen as an incentive for a 'rejuvenation' of the industry, its performance and the establishment of better relations between employers and employees 14, but it seems that the government strategists had made their plans without taking into account the stubbornness, determination and aggression of the two sides involved in the productive process, namely, labour and capital.


It was at four o'clock on Monday, 10 November 1919 that seventy workers in the Denver Engineering Workshop stopped work and downed their tools. They acted so, following the victimisation of a fellow worker (Whiteside) and Ted Morgan, the head of their workshop committee. 15All workers (fitters, iron-moulders, pattern-makers, boiler-makers, blacksmith, etc.) were members of both the workers' committee and their respective trade unions. 16All of them were white, skilled workers. Approximately 110 Black workers were employed on the premises as unskilled and semi-skilled labour. 17From the beginning there were two main features to the strike: firstly, the fate of the struggle was left in the hands of the workers, while the trade unions were only keeping a watching brief, 18and secondly, the Blacks did not participate in the strike. The factory closed down because of the lack of skilled labour. 19The demands of workers' committee were clear and were formulated during the first meeting of the committee with all strikers, on Wednesday, 12 November. They were:

  • (a) Reinstatement of the dismissed workers before work would be resumed.
  • (b) All shop-stewards and trade unions to be recognised.
  • (c) No person should be engaged in the workshop unless the shop- steward in the department was satisfied with his standing in the union.
  • (d) The manager to be the only person to deal with all negotiations with shop stewards.
  • (e) All disagreements between the manager and shop-stewards to be settled by the unions concerned.
  • (f) No victimisation.
  • (g) The settlement of the strike would in no way interfere with the holiday leave. 20

The workers had agreed in principle that the strike would be based on direct action under the leadership of the shop-floor workers' committee. 21They felt that moral and financial support should be ensured and they immediately called on the South African Industrial Federation (S.A.I.F.), 22the Building Workers Industrial Union, 23and the other trade unions concerned (A.S.C, Joiners and Boilermakers, and A.S.E.). All of them expressed their sympathy with the strike and promised their moral and financial support. 24

The Denver Engineering management had introduced a 'liaison office' between the senior manager and the shop-stewards' committee but, unfortunately for the former, scientific negotiating techniques in this case did not lead to 'manager-worker collaboration'. 25Instead of production efficiency and increase, the Taylorian' method led to a workers' unity enforced by the principle "an injury to one is an injury to all'. This proved to be a great problem for the employers and their managers.


The factory manager regarded the strike as an open 'blackmail' and refused to accept the accusation that he victimised workers. 26He defended himself by claiming that productivity was at a very low level and the men had agreed in principle on the necessary retrenchment. In a press interview, the manager stated that it was not the intention of the employers to destroy the shop-stewards movement. 27The management would be very pleased to discuss the matter with the union, but they strongly disapproved of the direct action taken by the men without reference to the unions. 28It seems, however, that although the latter statement expressed the true feelings of the employers, this was not the case with the former statement. Bearing in mind the continuing workers militancy on the Rand, 29the close and brotherly links of the Denver workers with the International Socialist League 30and the plans for the new organisational channels of communication and resistance set up by the shop-stewards during the course of the strike, it is clear that the factory management, in collaboration with other employers, had, as an ultimate aim, the smashing of the workers' movement. This is why they did not accept the reinstatement of the two militant workers, although they conceded all points set down by the workers during the first stage of the action. 31At a later stage, however, they agreed to the reinstatement of Whitehead, but not of Ted Morgan. 32


Up to Monday, 24 November, the workers' committee had based its activities on a Tom Mann-inspired form of action, the main characteristic being the spirit of unity amongst them. Engaged in a practical struggle, their activities were dependent on the momentum of industrial militancy. Their direct action was, however, in many ways qualitatively different from that of their English counterparts. 33The ideological and political links with the I.S.L. and strikers' connections with their respective trade unions were the main differences between the two movements, and both bore a vital significance in the development of the strike. 34

On this Monday, the workers' committee met with several officials of the trade unions involved (the S.A.I.F. included) on their side, facing the Denver Engineering management together with the representatives of the Master Engineers and Founders Association (M.E.F.A.). 35After a long discussion dominated by the negotiating skills of the M.E.F.A. and the S.A.I.F., the M.E.F.A. set down two suggestions 'to close the matter':

  • (a) that all men start work again, and
  • (b) that a board consisting of two members of the Association and two of the strikers be formed with a chairman mutually agreed on, the terms of reference being the victimisation of the two men. 36

This was the turning point in the discussions. Although the meeting was a joint one and it seemed that the S.A.I.F. and the A.S.E. had taken the lead in the negotiation process, the workers' committee, after a stormy meeting, denounced all bargaining procedures and bluntly refused to re-negotiate through mediators. B. Gill, the chairman of the committee, declared that the gauntlet had been thrown down by the bosses to smash the shop-stewards' movement, stating that although the factory's management seemed to be keen to see work resumed, it could not guarantee work for all the workers concerned. 37The mediators and factory management repudiated the direct action of the workers, noting that it defeated the 'object of negotiations' amongst 'organised parties'. 38 The 'negotiating process' did not materialise because of the commitment and determination of the workers' committee, which was further manifested when, during the next day, the secretary of the committee sent a letter to the M.E.F.A. (through the A.S.E.) stating that no negotiation would take place until the two workers had been reinstated unconditionally. 39


The threat of the bosses to demolish the Rand shop-stewards' movement was a real one. The M.E.F.A. was a body consisting of sharp negotiators and the only way to tackle their tactics was a 'hard-line' stand, and that was the workers' reaction. 40They took sole responsibility for their actions by electing democratically a workers' factory committee, whose gatherings were open to all workers. 41The most important feature of the struggle was the solidarity of all Unions on the Rand, 42who supported the strike by picketing outside the factory, 43collecting money 44and helping in every possible way. At one stage they were planning a general trade-union strike on the Reef, as an expression of solidarity to the Denver workers. 45The strikers and their committee felt that the public at large were not receiving enough news of their actions because of the insufficient coverage of their strike by the 'capitalist press', who preferred to give primary importance to the notorious Simmer Deep strike, 46and they decided to hold public meetings throughout the Reef, the first being in Pretoria. This venue was not chosen arbitrarily, but because the Industrial National Congress (later to be known as the Employers-Employees Congress) was taking place there. The hall was packed with workers and delegates to the Congress, who some days previously had passed resolutions demanding the nationalisation of industry, its control by workers and the State, and a reduction of working hours to 40-44 per week. 47They also had listened to speeches advocating re-distribution of wealth and control over the production process through Soviets 48. The workers' committee and the S.A.I.F. committed themselves to a continuous struggle for the advancement not only of the shop-stewards' movement, but of the South African workers' movement generally 49. The employers and the M.E.F.A. tried to use the influence in dividing the workers, by pushing the S.A.I.F. and the A.S.E. into excepting negotiations on behalf of the strikers, but the latter were adamant that there would be no negotiation with any body but the workers' committee. 50

In the meantime, the financial support expressed by all sectors of the working population materialised immediately with the receipt of many voluntary levies and subscriptions. The workers' support of the strike, which the International called 'the most hopeful movement in the modern trade union world' 51, was extremely generous. The A.S.E. struck a 2s 6d levy, the B.W.I.U. made a donation of 50 pounds 52, the shop-stewards on the Reef put up a voluntary levy to support the strike 53, and the Construction Workers Union gave 100 pounds to the strikers 54. The importance of this solidarity lies in the fact that at the time of the strike workers in South Africa were faced with a tremendous increase in the cost of living, following the post-war depression and decreasing productivity both locally and internationally. 55

The workers' committee and the direct action of the strikers were welcomed by all radical organisations of the period. The International, organ of the I.S.L., wrote that just as the Soviets present the capitalist with a real treat, so too does the shop-stewards' movement 56. Obviously the I.S.L.'s political deviation from its principles (one of the major ones being the alignments of all workers across the colour line) was a tactical step directed to boost the unity of the White section of the workers then on strike. The Cape Town Industrial Socialist League, not referring directly to that strike, but advocating direct action generally, called on the workers to ostracise the 'aging Labour leaders attached to the Federations' and organise themselves in superior forms of organisation, i.e., the factory committees. 57

The Communist Party, through its chairman A. Dunbar, referring indirectly to the strike and the workers' militancy generally, denounced political parliamentarism and moderate industrial action, urging the workers to form Soviets inside their factories. 58The State authorities, eager to come down on the various 'Bolshevik activities' which, according to the Commissioner of Police, 'were grown seriously the Rand and elsewhere' since mid-1919, 59saw the strike as another indication pointing to the forthcoming general strike prophesied to be 'at no far distant date'. 60

It is thus fascinating (to say the least) that the official organ of the engineering industry, The South African Mining and Engineering Journal, totally ignored the strike. Of course a journal whose motto read "All war is waste. Industrial war is the worst form of waste!" 61 were bound to protect the interest of the employers. It seems that the Denver Engineering Works strike was very insignificant for coverage, unlike the 1922 revolts, which were reported in an extraordinarily detailed fashion by the journal. 62

While the strike proceeded, the unity of the workers, under the leadership of their committee was going from strength to strength, as were plans for the establishment of a permanent Rand Shop-Stewards' Committee, with its local sub-divisions ready to work in the near future. 63It seemed that the employers and their master association had only two alternatives - to go back to negotiations, or surrender. They preferred the former.


"The strike which threatened to involved the whole of the Reef shops over the shop-stewards' question was practically settled last night", announced the Rand Daily Mail on Christmas Day 1919, under the heading "Denver's Strike Settled'. 64The statement was partly true, especially in its first part. It was true that the factory committee (using E. Shaw of the S.A.I.F. as mediator at that time) signed a provisional agreement with the M.E.F.A., including three clauses:

  • (a) All men returned to work.
  • (b) The alleged victimisation of the shop-steward is referred to delegates appointed by the Federation and the M.E.F.A.
  • (c) They will be no victimisation on either side. 65

Everything seemed to be in order and the next day the strikers resumed work. The manager complained that only 21 out of 110 Blacks had reported for work and this was why a dozen workers had to stand off until productivity conditions became normal. 66It was probably too late for the workers' committee to re-think and regret its negative attitude towards the Blacks (an integral part of the workers in the workshop). Nevertheless, by collaborating with the foreman, this diminished Black force had the entire production - controlling machinery and operation for 5 hours in motion, until the manager came back and tried to stop them in vain. 67Although little information was available concerning the attitude of the Black work force within the foundry, it seems that it was one of apathy. This fact in itself is surprising, as the Black workers suffered not only the inhumanity of the appalling working conditions, but they were also paid ridiculously low wages in comparison with their white counterparts. 68

After long discussions between the manager and the workers' committee, the former insisting on sacking a number of the strikers and the men standing by their demands, the manager bluntly declared that he himself had turned away 45 Blacks, because he wanted to smash the shop-stewards movement. 69In the meantime, the workshop was still under the control of the blacksmiths waiting for the shop-stewards to return to their work. The men gathered together and went on strike again, this time accepting the negotiating role of the S.A.I.F. and the M.E.F.A. The two 'organised bodies' sat down to draw up a draft proposal for the settlement of the strike, the main point being the question of retrenchment and the role of the shop-stewards and foremen. 70The workers suggested that foremen should have a definite say in the retrenchment issue, contrary to the draft proposal of the M.E.F.A. The factory's management rejected this and the M.E.F.A. claimed that the workers' suggestions were illegitimate because they did not come through the channel of the 'organised body representing the workers' (meaning the S.A.I.F.). 71The Association tried to blackmail the workers, suggesting that the case would proceed to a Board of Reference, a process which would take at least a month to settle the situation. 72That did not worry the workers, because they had understood well that the amendments drawn up by the M.E.F.A. and the employers were a clear indication of their attempts to create divisions between the foremen and the shop-stewards, who were in close co-operation during the whole period of the strike. 73The workers went back to work on Tuesday, determined to remain immovable in their decision to include the foremen as participants in the retrenchment process. 74When they arrived the manager prevented them from starting work, pointing out that he did not intend to have the workshop run by 'a couple of Bolsheviks'. 75The workers downed tools again and left, much to the desperation of both the M.E.F.A. and the S.A.I.F. The former sent a letter to Shaw (of the federation) the same evening, complaining about the workers' attitude. 76The workers at the same time, however, were discussing the strike and, after a long and dramatic debate, conceded the point that the proposed retrenchment should be submitted to the shop-stewards only, deleting the suggestion regarding the foremen. Their decision later came before the M.E.F.A. committee, and was accepted. 77The strike was over and the International reported that the workers' committee had waived its demands at the request of the S.A.I.F.. 78


The strike and the shop-stewards' movement must be evaluated from three different angles. We have to consider the significance of the movement in relation to its success regarding the objectives set down from the start, i.e., the immediate aim (the reinstatement of their fellow-workers); the short-term aim (the establishment of a well-organised shop-stewards' movement on the Rand); 79and also the long-term aim, directly connected with the objective conditions of the struggle, i.e., an elaboration of a new strategy incorporated within the existing strategies of the labour movement.

The immediate task served as a practical axis for the fulfilment of the other two. It was clear that the workers and their committee would not resume work until their two fellow-workers were reinstated. To fulfil this task they used tactics such as mass meetings, picketings and public opinion manipulation; in the meantime, however, taking advantage of the delay on the part of the employers to reach a decision, they pushed their strategic plans, including the establishment of the new workers' organisation on the Rand.

In the first place - as their action indicated - their workers' committee was very sceptical as to open negotiations led by 'official bodies' and unions; that was demonstrated in many cases. 80Although their committee did not repudiate some sort of association and co-operation with trade unions and the S.A.I.F., it was clear that it was reluctant to follow their instructions because of their open "collaborationist" policies. 81This should not lead us to wrong conclusions, for the men did not endeavour to construct an alternative leadership to that of the union. They simple wanted to put their militancy in the right direction in order to restructure the unions.

They considered their committee as a highly organised expression of militant action and that is why all important decisions were made by it. 82It became obvious that at the outset the management became weary of the new strategies employed by the strikers. Under the 'traditional trade union system' the men on strike could not move without the slow process of resolutions taken by the various branches of the unions involved. This was a direct result of the craft divisions existing at the time. Additionally, the branches that dealt with the day-to-day problems could not follow the developments taking place outside the productive process (bargaining, negotiations between unions and management, etc.). Thus various meetings of the branches of the unions involved were in a deadlock as the existing communication channels were in a state of flux. As Muir put it bluntly, this process 'gave time to the bosses to prepare better and resulted in the workers' enthusiasm dying out and the workers got disheartened by delays'. 83

It is an undoubted fact that factory committees have served as a highly organised expression of workers' militancy in the whole turbulent history of labour all over the world. Elected by all factory employees (unlike the Denver Engineering Works case, where the Black labour force did not participate), such committees immediately create a counterweight to the will of the administration. It has been shown again and again that 'traditional trade union' bureaucrats would as a general rule resist the creation of factory workers' committees, as they realise that the prime significance of such committees lies in the fact that they become militant platforms mobilising the workers. 84

We have already referred to the support of the various political groupings for the strike and the solidarity expressed by the various sections of the White working class. This indications were an obvious boost to the organisation of the strikers and their committee, who were endeavouring to create a movement from the bottom up, putting their theoretical imagination into immediate practice. 85 There is no evidence leading to the conclusion that this immediate practice led to the formation of the shop-stewards' organisations in every workshop, with the shop-stewards' District Council as the controlling body. 86At the same time this practice, the direct action, put serious obstacles in the way of the realisation of the third objective, i.e the elaboration of a new strategy incorporated within the already existing strategies of the labour movement. Obviously, it was not only the committee's fault that problems such as the interdependence of the immediate and short-term demands and the political features of the strike were overlooked. As we have already shown, all the political spectrum of Left (the Labour Party did not bother to commit itself to the strike) was enthusiastic and supportive of the strike. 87The importance of tactical innovations introduced by the strike in the Labour movement of South Africa forced the workers (and not only them) to overlook the political questions arising from that strike. Questions such as the relation between long-and short-term demands and, the significance of the Black factory workers, 88were overlooked both by the workers themselves and the political parties involved directly and indirectly with the strike. The non-existence of a relation between direct and political action on the part of the workers was not only reminiscent of pre-war English industrial syndicalist tactics but also bore the seeds of a Goldman-type Socialism of the pre-1920 Industrial Socialist League and Tylers' Communist Party. 89That fact pointed to one of the indigenous weaknesses of the main left-wing group operating on the Rand at the time (the International Socialist League), i.e., its inability to direct in some ways the activities of the strikers ( we have already mentioned that the majority of the Denver workers were members and / or sympathises of the League). On the other hand, it demonstrated the powerful impact that direct syndicalist action had in the eyes of the workers, who used it as a tactical weapon, substituting it at all levels of activity for any strategic form of political action.


The International celebrated the victory of the workers as a leading story (SHOP CONTROL BY THE WORKERS), 90and three weeks later reported that the factory was working satisfactorily and with more workers. It also reported that only union men could be employed in the factory, as a result of the men's victory in the strike. 91There is neither a report of the new-type organisation of the shop-stewards on the Rand, nor mention of control of the workshop by the workers.

It seems that only one out of the three objectives set by the workers was attained, namely the immediate one.

The Denver strike failed in the long run as a "school of war" because it did not function properly as one: rather, it was looked upon by the workers as an ultimate aim.

The article originally appeared in the Journal of the University of Durban-Westville, New Series 3, 1986.

For a background to "direct action" and its significance to the South African labour movement, see Elaine N. Katz, A Trade Union Aristocracy, African Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand. Especially Chapters VI and VII.

See S.E.I.F.S.A., Organisation and structure of the Metal and Engineering Industries in the Republic of South Africa, (no date), p.3.

Board of Trade, Engineering Industry in S.A., (no date), p.5.

On the import prices of machinery and spares, see the journal Architect, Builder and Engineer for the period 1917-1919.

See S.E.I.F.S.A., Organisation, op.cit., p. 7.

See South African Mining and Engineering Journal, for the period 1915-1920.

S.E.I.F.S.A., Organisation, p. 9.

Board of Trade, Engineering Industry, Introduction, (no date).

See S.A. Mining and Engineering Journal, consecutive issues, 1914 -1918.

See S. Ransome, The Engineer in South Africa: A review of the industrial situation in South Africa after the war and a focus of the possibilities of the country, Archibald Constable and Co., London, 1903, pp.58 - 88 and 95-118.

Union of South Africa, Office of Census and Statistics, Special Report Series, No. 15, Industrial Census 1922, pp. 3-8.

Union of South Africa, Office of Census and Statistics, Special Reports Series, No. 26, Industrial Census in the Witwatersrand, p. 106.

U.G. 39 - 1919, Report of Procedures of the Industries Advisory Board and the Scientific and Technical Committee for the period 1/1/1918 -30/9/1918.

U.G. 43 - 1920, Report of Proceedings of the Industries Advisory Board and the Scientific and Technical Committee for the period 1/1/1920 -1/9/1920.

The Star, 14 November 1919: Rand Daily Mail, 13 November 1919.

International, 14 January 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 31 December 1919: International, 2 February 1920.

International, 14 January 1919.

International, 19 December 1919.

International, 14 November 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 12 November 1919: International, 28 November 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 12 November 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 14 November 1919. The B.W.I.U. was one of the most militant trade unions at the time, especially the Rand Branch. Established in 1916 by William Blake, a stonemason, the union's leadership in the field was recognised by the unions in similar trades, such as the Ironmoulders, Joiners, and Boilermakers. See Rand Daily Mail, 11 June 1916: The Star, 13 June 1916.

Rand Daily Mail, 12 and 14 November 1919: The Star, 14 November 1919.

See the ironic comments of International, 14 January 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 14 November 1919: International, 28 November 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 14 November 1919: The Star, 15 November 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 14 November 1919: The Star, 15 November 1919.

At the same time there were disputes of firemen, coach builders and railway workers. See Rand Daily Mail, 13, 20 and 22 November 1919.

International, 14 November 1919.

International, 14 and 28 November 1919: Rand Daily Mail, 14 November 1919.

International, 28 November 1919.

For the "direct action" shop-stewards' syndicalism in England, see particularly W. Kendall, The Revolutionary Movement in England, 1900 -1921, London, 1969, pp. 35 - 45 and 55 - 60. and B. Pribilevic, The Shop Stewards' Movement and Workers Control, Oxford, 1959.

For example, the Ironmoulders' Society of South Africa (and especially its Rand Branch) was a very militant union established in 1896. It was particularly militant during a period under investigation. See I. Walker and Ben Weinbren, 2 000 Casualties, S.A.T.U.C., 1961, pp. 6 -7.

Rand Daily Mail, 15 December 1919: International, 28 November 1919.

International, 28 November 1919: Rand Daily Mail, 15 November 1919.

International, 28 November and 19 December 1919: Rand Daily Mail, 15 December 1919: The Star, 26 November 1919.

The Star, 26 November 1919: Rand Daily Mail, 15 December 1919.

The Star, 26 November 1919: Rand Daily Mail, 15 December 1919: International, 12 December 1919.

See especially interviews by the spokesmen of the workers' committee, Gill and Muir, in International, 28 November 1919.

International, 12 and 19 December 1919: Rand Daily Mail, 15 December 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 11 December 1919, for reports of their picketing and meetings: 13 December 1919: and International, 12 and 19 December 1919.

International, 12 December 1919.

Rand Daily Mai\, 13 December 1919.

International, 19 December 1919.

The Simmer Deep strike dominated the headlines of all the newspapers in South Africa during the last days of 1919 (from 4 -23 December).

South African Railways and Harbours Salaried Staff Association Bulletin, December 1919. The journal includes all resolutions past at the Conference.

See the report of the speech made by Forrester Brown at the Conference in The Citizen, 1 November 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 13 December 1919.

See mainly Rand Daily Mail, 15 December 1919 and International, 28 November 1919.

International, 28 November 1919.

International, 5 December 1919.

International, 21 November 1919.

International, 28 November 1919.

On the subject of the ever-soaring prices of all commodities, see Cost of Living Commission, U.G. 26 - 1920: also U.G. 55 - 1918.

International, 28 November 1919 and 6 February 1920.

Pamphlet issued during December 1919, entitled The Bankruptcy of Trades' Unionism, presumably written by C.F. Glass, the ideologue of industrial relations of the organisation, now in private collection in South Africa.

Report of his speech, given in the morning of 25 January 1920, Justice Department File 269, 3/524/17, Part 6: Letter from Inspector Ligger to the Secretary, South African Police, 28 January 1920.

Justice File 267,3/1064/18: Letter from Commissioner of South African Police to the Secretary of Justice, 26 April 1919.

Justice File 269,3/524/17: Part 6, Letter from Deputy Commissioner, C.I.D., to the Secretary of the South African Police, 28 January 1920.

See S.A. Mining and Engineering Journal for the period 1917- 1921.

Ibid. for the period of Rand revolt, when all editorial and additional reports covered the strikes to the full.

International, 12 December 1919; Rand Daily Mail, 24 November 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 25 December 1919.

The Star, 25 December 1919; Rand Daily Mail, 25 December 1919.

Rand Daily Mail, 31 December 1919.

International, 2 January 1920.

For comparisons, see Report 26, pp.cit., especially tables 8 and 9.

International, 2 January 1920.

Rand Daily Mail, 1 January 1920: International. 2 January 1920.

International, 2 January 1920: Rand Daily Mail, 3 1 December 1919 and 1 January 1920.

International, 2 January 1920: Rand Daily Mail, 3 1 December 1919 and 1 January 1920.

Rand Daily Mail, 2 January 1920.

Rand Daily Mail, 1 January 1920: International, 2 January 1920. 75. International, 2 January 1920.

Rand Daily Mail, 1 January 1920.

Rand Daily Mail, 1 January 1920.

International, 2 January 1920.

International, 28 November 1919.

See notes 25 and 26.

Let us not forget that at the time the Archie Crawford clique, not very well known for its revolutionary sympathies, dominated the Federation.

Indeed, all-important decisions from the drawing up of the initial demands until the last decision to finish the strike were made by the workers' committee.

See International, 28 November 1919.

For the significance of workers / factories committees see Leon Trotsky on Trade Unions, Pathfinder Press, 1969, pp. 53 - 57, 59 - 62 and 68 - 75. Also A. Gramsci, Soviets in Italy, Institute for Workers' Control, 1969: and Selections from the Prison Notebooks, Lawrence and Wishart, 1971.

Justice File 269,3/524/17: Letter from Deputy Commissioner, C.I.D., to the Secretary, S.A.P., 28 January 1920.

See International. 28 November 1919.

See notes 41,42 and 43.

See J. Hinton, The First Shop Stewards' Movement, George Alien and Unwin, 1973, pp.277 - 279.

See Industrial Socialist League pamphlets dated November 1919, On Political Action, written by A.Z.Berman and M. Lopes, now in private collection: also Justice File 269,3/524/17.

International, 1 January 1920 (capital letters in the original).

International, 16 January 1920.