By Henry Pelling
The writer leads the reader via a narrative of fight and improvement protecting greater than 4 centuries: from the medieval guilds and early craftsmen's and labourers' institutions to the dramatic progress of alternate unionism in Britain within the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He exhibits how robust personalities similar to Robert Applegarth, Henry Broadhurst, Tom Mann, Ernest Bevin and Walter Citrine have helped to form the development of present-day unionism, and for this version he has additional a bankruptcy "On the protective: the 1980s". the writer additionally wrote "The Origins of the Labour Party".
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Encouraged by this the Preston operatives determined to press their own demands, both spinners and weavers being involved. Most of the Preston masters refused to give way, and in October some I8,ooo operatives were thrown into idleness. The masters had an effective association of their own, but the strikers could match them in organisation and in public relations, and altogether over £roo,ooo was raised for the support of those thrown out of work, contributions being generously provided by trade societies all over the country.
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 struggle was marked by an impressive solidarity among the native colliers, led by their Primitive Methodist preachers, who unlike the ministers of the parent sect of Wesleyan Methodism, sympathised warmly with trade unionism.
For although the Combination Laws had been repealed, trade unions still had no legal status ; their funds had to be held in private hands, yet they could not sue if they were defrauded. Their main object, to improve the wages of their members, was regarded as impracticable by the exponents of economic theory, who held that wages were inevitably determined by the laws of supply and demand. Indeed, according to the theory of the wage fund, which was popular among economists at this time, if any group of workers obtained advances in wages through collective pressure, it could only be at the expense of the legitimate reward of other workers.
A History of British Trade Unionism by Henry Pelling