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At Play | On the Factory Floor | Staff Portraits


Link to full record and imageMany generations of the same families were employed at the Sunshine Harvester Works. Some individuals started as apprentices and left at retirement.

Annual picnics, staff newsletters, benevolent funds, and social functions were ways to help ensure "the maintenance of harmonious relationships" between workers and the company.

Union strikes and lockouts were part of the company's history. The work was often repetitive, boring, dirty, noisy, and dangerous. Workers were paid by piece rates, and could be stood down during slow periods.

In 1907 the wages and conditions of the McKay workers were used as a test case to determine the "basic wage" for all male workers in Australia.


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