By Henry Pelling
The writer leads the reader via a narrative of fight and improvement overlaying greater than 4 centuries: from the medieval guilds and early craftsmen's and labourers' institutions to the dramatic development of exchange unionism in Britain within the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He indicates how robust personalities corresponding to Robert Applegarth, Henry Broadhurst, Tom Mann, Ernest Bevin and Walter Citrine have helped to form the trend of present-day unionism, and for this version he has additional a bankruptcy "On the protecting: the 1980s". the writer additionally wrote "The Origins of the Labour Party".
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Extra resources for A History of British Trade Unionism
We do not know very much about this body ; there seems to have been an element of secrecy about it, no doubt owing to the bitter hostility that it encountered from the employers. In the summer of I833, for example, one Leeds master dyer discharged all of his employees whom he knew to be unionists; and later that year a number of employers in the same area drew up a 'Bond' whereby each of them pledged himself not to employ any members of a union. It was probably for this reason that many Yorkshire workers pinned their hopes of reform on political agitation, and joined the Short Time Committees which were being organised by Richard Oastler, the 'Tory Radical', for the statutory limitation of factory hours.
Roberts, who became famous as 'the Pittnen's Attorney-General', the Miners Association fought hard for better wages and conditions for its members. It eschewed any high-flown ambitions and would have nothing to do with the Chartist movement. Its object was to raise the living standards of its members by raising the price of coal, which it sought to do by a national restriction of output. But in 1844 it became involved in a bitter four-months' strike in its principal strongholds, Northumberland and Durham a strike which was defeated by the onset of a depression in trade and the importation of non-union labour, much of it Welsh or Irish.
The 'Grand National' began to break up owing to its inability to provide adequate support for stctions of its membership who were on strike. This was especially unfortunate at a time when the very principle of trade unionism was so much on the defensive. Taking advantage of the public alarm about the spread of unionism, many employers tried to eliminate it from among their own employees. In the London building trades, for instance, a good opportunity occured when some craftsmen employed by Messrs.
A History of British Trade Unionism by Henry Pelling