A. EARLY DAYS - THE TIMES OF VIDA GOLDSTEIN

1.   overwork, economic deprivation and ill–health
2.   1880’s melbourne tailoresses strike
3.   and also …
4.   1885 the victorian lady teachers’ association
5.   1895 anti sweating leagues
6.   1895 “our opponents”  betrayal
7.   the public service act  betrayal


8.   1903 women in politics
9.   1904  victorian employers federation betrayal
10. 1907 the harvester decision  betrayal
11.1910-11 other pre-war actions
12. 1911 'the match girls' strikes
13. 1911 factories and shops acts  betrayal
14. 1912 justice (?) higgins  betrayal


15. 1912 equal pay for teachers betrayal
16. the women's political association supported the teachers
17. 1913 lady teachers’ association resolution
18. the clerks’ wages board determination 
20. 1914 teachers’ equal pay claim betrayal
21. 1914 war - 'the wicked waste of life'  betrayal


22. 1915 food prices up, unemployment, poverty
23. 1915 wpa (women’s political association) women's labour bureau
24. victorian association of benevolent societies betrayal
25. response from the women’s political ass.n
26. women’s labour bureau defunded  betrayal
27. 1915 agitating and lobbying - unemployed women
28. not only women


29. australian women’s national league (awnl) opposed the wpa betrayal
30. 1915 the women's rural co-operative
31. the international congress of women
32. prime minister's visit to london  betrayal
33. declining birthrate blamed on women  betrayal
34. 1915 cost of living demonstrations
35. 1915 unemployment and the women's labour councils
36. equal pay provision broken down betrayal


37. nursing in war
38. salaries cut  betrayal
39. the commonwealth clothing factory  betrayal
40. 1917 'we want work adjourn the house'
41. more anti feminist betrayal
42. peace has come betrayal


B. RECOVERING FROM WAR - THE TIMES OF MURIEL HEAGNEY


43. living standards falling
44. 1918 returned nurses' conditions betrayal
45. 1916-18 muriel (heagney) had got a job
46. 1919 the basic wage betrayal
47. a “where is the bachelor tax”? betrayal
48. 1925–6 women’s activism
49. shall not by sex or marriage


50. 1926 the clothing trade union claims
51. unemployment in the depression
52. 1930 the heagney-riley report on unemployed women
53. 1930 unemployed girls' relief movement
54. the communist party of australia  betrayal?
55. 1932 nationalist party  betrayal
56. miss heagney ceases work?  betrayal


57. social insecurity – wages cuts betrayal
58. 1930-1933 overwork, economic deprivation and ill-health again
59. the human right to decide for herself  betrayal
60. 1935 they worked for equal pay
61. 1937 they formed the council of action for equal pay (caep)
62. teachers’ conditions betrayal
63. recognising the service … and that men share the housework


64. wages for wives paid by husbands betrayal
65. 1941 muriel heagney's six point policy
66. 1941 women's cheap labour exploited 
67. 1941 1942 the australian women's land army (awla)
68. 1943 female rates betrayal
69. women's place in post-war reconstruction?
70. 1953 proposed wage reductions for women betrayal
71. equal pay rallies in 1955, and 1957
72. (premier?) bolte's response  betrayal
73. kath williams came out fighting


C. WOMEN’S LIBERATION – THE TIMES OF ZELDA D’APRANO

74. it all began – zelda d’aprano
75. 1968 equal basics wage case
76. 1969 equal pay case betrayal
77. the commonwealth government chain-up
78. police response
79. arbitration commission chain up
80. calling out slogans, waving banners
81. 1970 we earn 75%, we pay 75% the trams

82. what is women’s liberation?
83. woman is moving
84. background to equal pay demands
85. 1972 equal pay for work of equal value
86. 1972 childcare
87. 1956-75 women's struggle to become tram drivers in Melbourne
88. 1974 tramway women's struggle  betrayal
89. 1974 taking men's jobs? (again) minimum wage case


90. women who work in shops protest 91. women picket everhot
92. women’s action alliance et al betrayal 
93. “not wishing to help asio further …”
94. religion – catholic action - national civic council betrayal
95. women members of national civic council betrayal
96. 1974 waa “homemaker's allowance” betrayal
97. i am not a housewife
98. social welfare cuts betrayal
99. whose right to choose?
100. beyond equality


APPENDIX 1
1919 the zurich women’s international conference
APPENDIX 2 join the council for women in war work
APPENDIX 3 the 1946 australian women’s charter
APPENDIX 4
1978 waa women's report to national civic council melbourne
APPENDIX 5 the women’s liberation manifesto

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Page 11 C. WOMEN’S LIBERATION – THE TIMES OF ZELDA D’APRANO
74-81 on this page

WOMEN’S LIBERATION –
THE TIMES OF ZELDA D’APRANO

I now knew that the personal is political, and all human suffering, whether it be at work, in the home, in human relationships or through lack of money can only be tackled in totality.
Zelda D'Aprano STORIES

74. IT ALL BEGAN – ZELDA D’APRANO

It all began when I, together with many women employed at various meat works attended several hearings of the Equal Pay Case in 1969.

The decision was a bitter disappointment.

Zelda D'Aprano Woman is Moving - A Herstory of the Women's Liberation Movement in Victoria State Library of Victoria

75. 1968 EQUAL BASICS WAGE CASE

Women Have to Work Now - Full Arbitration Court Equal Basic Wage Case: Miss Muriel Agnes Heagney of the Federated Clerk's Union, Sydney, and the hearing's first woman witness, told the Court present economic conditions were forcing many women to return to work after marriage.

Main contributing factor was that husband's wages were inadequate for young couples to put a deposit on a home or buy furniture. Women of between 40 and 50 years were also returning to work to allow their children to continue studies :

Judge Foster: Miss Heagney, are you able to say that ten pound a week basic wage is within the capacity of the economy?
Miss Heagney: There are no reliable figures in Australia on distribution of national income.
Judge Foster: It looks as though it is going to be a perilous guess on our part.
Miss Heagney: Risks have been taken before.
Chief Judge Kelly: It looks as though you would encourage us.

The hearing will resume this morning.

The Argus 20 August 1968

76. 1969 EQUAL PAY CASE BETRAYAL

Verity Bergmann:
Zelda D'Aprano and other women workers sat through the 1969 Equal Pay Case hearings, when four learned male judges decided there were good reasons not to grant "equal pay for work of equal value" but only "equal pay for equal work" to the few women who did exactly the same work as men in male-dominated occupations:

“There we were, the poor women, all sitting in Court like a lot of cows in the sale yards, while all the men out front presented arguments as to how much we were worth ...

I felt humiliated, belittled and degraded, not for myself but for all women''

Zelda D'Aprano Women in Chains: People ask me why I did it, Meat Employees Journal Nov/Dec 1969 p13) from Verity Bergmann Power, Profit and Protest: Australian social movements and globalisation Allen & Unwin 2003

The case presented was not equal pay for equal work, but for doing away with the differential in salaries, the claim being that the 25% difference in salaries was discrimination on the grounds of sex.

The evidence given by Bob Hawke, the ACTU advocate of the time, was irrefutable. The women sat there day by day as if we were mute, while the men presented evidence for and against our worth. It was humiliating to have to sit there and not say anything about our own worth.

I found the need to sit there silent almost beyond my control, and was incensed with the entire set up. When the decision of this case was presented everyone was shocked, for it had nothing to do with the evidence or case presented. This decision meant that women could only obtain equal pay for equal work as very few women were doing the same jobs as men.

The result for the women in the meat industry meant that only 12% of women would receive equal pay. It finished up, though, that only 12% of the women got equal pay. They didn’t get what Bob Hawke fought for, just equal pay for equal work.

Then nothing happened. Zilch!

I got a phone call from the secretary of the Insurance Staff Federation, Diane Sonnenberg. She asked me if I would come to a meeting of an organization called VEWOC, which stood for Victorian Employed Women’s Organizations’ Council. It was made up of the trade unions with female members. I went to the meeting. She was there but no-one else turned up. Not one other person.

We started talking and she said that maybe we needed to chain ourselves up like the Suffragettes did. We laughed, but I thought about it and said I was prepared to do it. I wanted to do it as part of VEWOC but the secretary of the Clothing Trades Union almost had a fit over the phone.

Zelda by Zelda D'Aprano Spinifex Press 1995

77. THE COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT CHAIN-UP

We decided I would chain myself up against the Commonwealth Government Building doors, because the government should set the example. Private industry won’t do anything if the government won’t. I said I would like a few women there to give me moral support.

So, a woman came from my office, Val Ogden came from the Metal Trades Union and Bette Olle came from the Union of Australian Women. They all had banners. This was our lunch hour and I asked Val if she would nip down to the shop and get me something to eat and drink. I couldn’t drink all morning in case I needed a toilet while I was chained up.

Zelda by Zelda D'Aprano Spinifex Press 1995

78. POLICE RESPONSE

She was away when the Federal police came and ordered me to unlock the chain. I wouldn’t have anyway but Val had the key. Eventually they got big bolt cutters and they snipped through the chain like paper. I also had a Justice of the Peace, a woman, in the background in case I was charged but I wasn’t.

I received a phone call from Alva Geike. She congratulated me on my courage and said that if I did another one she and a friend of hers, Thelma Solomon, would like to be in it too.

She wanted to know when we were going to another one.

Zelda by Zelda D'Aprano Spinifex Press 1995

79. ARBITRATION COMMISSION CHAIN UP

We decided to chain ourselves up at the Arbitration Commission. In the meantime a young girl who worked in the office of the liquor trade union said she would like to be in it, too. So when we heard the teachers were going on strike I rang her. I got onto the secretary, Jimmie Munro. I knew him from the Communist Party.

I told him there was a young woman who wanted to join us in her lunch hour. “Oh, no “, he said “we couldn’t have that. The members of the union might want to know why she was doing that”.

So, that was another Communist who bit the dust in my opinion.

Then I rang the Metal Trades Union, my other comrade Laurie Carmichael. I asked if it would be alright for Val Osborne to come. “Oh, no” he said. “We like to have notice for things like this”. I told him we didn’t have any time for notice and that it had to be the next day when the teachers’ strike was on. He said it was still no. All this was my university.

The next day Thelma, Alva and I chained ourselves up. Alma Morton attended, too, though she didn’t chain herself up. The same Federal police came. They warned me if ever I did this again serious action would be taken.

Zelda D'Aprano STORIES

80. CALLING OUT SLOGANS, WAVING BANNERS

We stood outside calling out slogans which could be heard outside the (Arbitration) Court and waving banners such as:

- UNEQUAL PAY IS SEX DISCRIMINATION

- MAKE 1969 EQUAL PAY YEAR

- EQUAL PAY IS A HUMAN RIGHT

- LET'S NOT BUILD ON CHEAP LABOUR

- DELIBERATE DELAY ON EQUAL PAY

- MEAT INDUSTRY WOMEN SUPPORT EQUAL PAY

Yvonne Smith Union of Australian Women’s Our Women June-Aug 1969


81. 1970 WE EARN 75%, WE PAY 75% The Trams


We started straight away. We went on the trams and paid 75% of the fare because we received 75% of men’s wages.

About that, I went to the Communist leader of the tramways union. He was a man who had spent time in jail because of his union activities. I told him what we were going to do on the trams.

I said that our argument was not with the staff and I asked him to let them know. “You can’t do that!” he said. He was another Communist for whom, when it came to women, it was a different ball-game.

We went ahead and did it anyway.

Zelda by Zelda D'Aprano Spinifex Press 1995

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