Poor living conditions and negligent managerial policy on the mines at Broken Hill fed into a strong union presence from the very early days. Women interacted with the unions in different ways. For the most part, they were supportive. During major industrial strikes, for example, they joined union picket lines and attacked non-unionist 'scab' labour. On occasion, though, women came up against the unions: in 1915, Mrs Francis Egan had a fight on her hands when she refused to join a union and found herself barred from employment and unable to feed her family. By 1930, the Barrier Industrial Council had decreed that married women be barred from employment altogether in order to save jobs for younger women. That policy remained in place for over fifty years. Broken Hill has never had a female mayor. The first female Alderman on the City Council was Nydia Edes, who was elected in 1962.