This publication provides information on the employees of the Ipswich and Rockhampton Railway Workshops at the time of the rail dispute in May 1879 — prior to the commencement [in 1889] of the regular publication of lists of persons employed in the railway service. Listing approximately 450 entries, it gives the name, position, railway, date of first appointment and date of discharge [if applicable] for each person employed in the Locomotive Departments of the Ipswich and Rockhampton Railway Workshops in Queensland as at 1 May 1879.
A total of 140 men from a workforce of 452 were discharged. Various allegations were made as to how those to be dismissed were selected — creed, political considerations, member of trade associations — the official view was that extensive reductions were necessary because of economic considerations. Wide coverage of the dismissals was made in the local newspapers.