27th March 1920

Dockers’ strike impacts food supplies

Jersey’s dockers wanted 55 shillings a week, rising to 75 shillings a week during the potato harvest, but the companies employing them were only willing to pay 45 shillings. With neither side willing to compromise any more than they already had (the employers had increased their offer from 40 shillings), the dockers went on strike – and stayed on strike for a month.

This would soon be a serious problem: not only was the potato harvest early that year, and needed shipping to the mainland, but the island was running out of food. Steamers, which had brought supplies from the mainland, had been sent home without the cargo being touched. Meanwhile, a show of solidarity from the mainland dockers meant any boat sending exports from Jersey was likewise sent back to the island with its cargo in tact.

Eventually, both sides agreed to arbitration, which resolved the issue on 26 April. As a result, the dockers were to be paid £2 and seven shillings for 46 weeks of the year, and £3 and 15 shillings for the busiest six weeks during the potato harvest.


FREE Jersey history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Jersey's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.



Other events that occured in March