4a["Steward Must Leave", The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 13 November 1911, page 10]





Trouble has broken out on board the steamer Koombana, belonging to the Adelaide Steamship Company, Limited, which is a subsidised mail boat for the north-west ports. Practically all the seamen and firemen, in number over 30, announced their decision not to resume work on board the Koombana until the chief steward, Mr. F. W. Johnson, left it. The men say they have nothing but good feeling towards Captain Allen and the other officers, but they are unanimous in their determination that Johnson must leave the ship.

On Friday night a meeting of the Seamen's Union was held in the Trades Hall, Fremantle. About 60 members of tho union were present, including representatives from tho crews of the Suva, Kyarra, and Kurnalpi, besides the crew of the Koombana. After discussion, it was resolved by a very large majority that the crew of the Koombana should not resume work until the chief steward was removed from the steamer. Tho decision of the meeting was intimated to Captain Allen and Mr. A. E. Lewis, acting manager of the Adelaide Steamship Company's local office, but as Mr. W. E. Moxon, the manager, is at present in the east, no definite arrangement could be arrived at between the parties.

A wire was received at Fremantle on Saturday from Mr. Cooper, secretary of the Firemen and Seamen's Union, who is in Sydney, advising the men to work on, as it would seriously jeopardise the case at present before the Arbitration Court in the east. The men, however, refused to accept the proposal, and 16 firemen were paid off on Saturday. The Koombana was to have sailed for the north-west on Saturday evening, but in consequence of the trouble her departure was postponed. It is understood the Company are endeavouring to secure firemen in the eastern States.

4b["Strike on the Koombana", The Hedland Advocate (Port Hedland, WA), Saturday 18 November 1911, p?]

Strike on the Koombana

Perth, November 13.

The s.s. Koombana is hung up at Fremantle. Thirty seamen and firemen gave 24 hours' notice on the Adelaide Steamship Company of their intention to discontinue the work until the chief steward was removed from ship, on account of complaints regarding the food.

The men [have been] urged and implored by the executive of the Firemen and Seamen's Union in the Eastern States to resume work pending investigation.

It is feared the action would have a prejudicial effect in the proceedings before the Federal Arbitration Court.

November 14.

The Koombana men are still determined, although their demand is generally considered unreasonable.

4c[Minutes of Adelaide Steamship Company directors' meeting, Monday 13 November 1911, Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University, 0186/Z535 Box 12]


"Koombana" Firemen.

Telegram form Fremantle of the 10th instant advising the firemen had left the vessel owing to dissatisfaction with Chief Steward.


Secretary reported that 15 men had gone forward per "Karoola" on Saturday from Port Adelaide to take their places.