Strikes and trade union history

1919 - Triple Alliance: Untapped Power

Submitted by Janine on 12 April, 2019 - 4:44 Author: Janine Booth
Rail strike bulletin

With engineers and others taking on the employers, the time was ripe for the other bastions of industrial power – the rail workers, miners and transport workers – to join the fray. The government was certainly afraid that they would, knowing that these workforces’ unions had a deal, known as the Triple Alliance, that they would strike in solidarity with each other if asked.

“If I don’t get satisfaction I’ll be at that Wilson’s house, private house, until I do...”

Submitted by AWL on 3 April, 2019 - 10:25 Author: Luke Hardy
headscarf heroes

Hull's Headscarf Heroes on BBC iPlayer tells the story of a inspiring fight by working-class women in Hull to put workers’ safety at sea ahead of profits.

“They steal the roses from our cheeks”

Submitted by AWL on 20 March, 2019 - 10:11 Author: Jill Mountford
chainmakers

A ten-week strike involving recently unionised women home-workers is the subject of Neil Gore’s latest production.

“‘Rouse, Ye Women” is a folk-ballad opera telling the stirring story of the Chainmakers’ Strike of 1910 through uplifting songs sung by Bryony Purdue as Mary MacArthur, and Rowan Godal as “Bird”, a downtrodden chainmaker.

With only a guitar and banjolele, a simple but evocative set, and an imaginative use of lighting, the audience are quickly transported to a backyard outhouse in Cradley Heath.

"We belong to history": the end of coal and the miners

Submitted by martin on 11 December, 2018 - 10:03 Author: John Cunningham
Spanish miners in 2012

In the summer of 2012 a small group of ex-miners and labour movement activists met in a pub in Sheffield. We had just heard of the Spanish miners’ strike against the attempts by the right-wing government of Manuel Rajoy to withdraw subsidies to the mining industry and thereby, in effect, close it down.

A ‘fact-finding’ trip to Spain then followed and on returning to the UK a Spanish Miners Solidarity Committee was formed, raising 28,000 Euro in something like six weeks – money that went to support the families of the strikers. After which time the miners called off the strike.

Guns, controls and the labour movement

Submitted by Matthew on 28 February, 2018 - 10:53 Author: Gerry Bates
Second amendment

The US constitution famously states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”; historically, revolutionary democrats insisted on this right as a guarantee against arbitrary state power and the development of tyranny.

Why the 70s shop stewards lost

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 11:00 Author: Jim Denham

For a brief period in the 1970s, Derek Robinson (who has died, aged 90) was widely regarded as the most powerful trade unionist in Britain.

The so-called “Red Robbo” wasn’t a full-time official. He was a shop steward (albeit a senior steward, allowed time off by management, to devote himself full-time, to union duties).

Three big disputes

Submitted by Matthew on 13 July, 2017 - 2:13 Author: Bob Carnegie

The most important industrial disputes that I’ve been involved in were the 1985 SEQEB (South East Queensland Electricity Board) dispute; the maritime dispute of 1998; and the 63-day Queensland Children’s Hospital construction workers’ dispute of 2012, after which I had a long battle against both criminal charges and litigation for civil damages.

Three big disputes

Submitted by Matthew on 13 July, 2017 - 10:54 Author: Bob Carnegie

The most important industrial disputes that I’ve been involved in were the 1985 SEQEB (South East Queensland Electricity Board) dispute; the maritime dispute of 1998; and the 63-day Queensland Children’s Hospital construction workers’ dispute of 2012, after which I had a long battle against both criminal charges and litigation for civil damages.

Comrade Hand Grenade

Submitted by AWL on 13 July, 2017 - 7:48 Author: Bill Hunt

The Builders Labourer, the journal of the Builders Labourers Federation of Queensland, carried this tribute by Bill Hunt to Bob Carnegie in 2008 when Bob decided to step down as a full-time organiser with the BLF to return to work on the sites.

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By now many if not most of our members will be aware that Bob Carnegie is no longer an organiser with the BLF Bob has a job with Grocon as a peggy [site cleaner] and is looking forward to reacquainting himself with the rank and file.

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