By W. Hamish Fraser
This new background of British alternate unionism deals the main concise and updated account of three hundred years of alternate union improvement, from the earliest documented makes an attempt at collective motion by means of operating humans within the eighteenth century via to the very diversified international of `New Unionism' and `New Labour'.
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Extra resources for A History of British Trade Unionism 1700–1998
Trade unionists had long recognised that the longterm unemployed would always be tempted to accept a wage cut in order to find work and, therefore, it made sense to keep them out of the labour market, whether by finding alternative work for them or by providing the means for them to migrate. The cotton spinners of Glasgow had had an emigration fund since the 1820s and, by the 1850s, there were numerous emigration societies supported by trade union activists. The ASE's emigration fund fitted this tradition.
The central issue of the power of management and the power of workers to control the labour process was a recurring cause of dispute as was the issue of how the gains of technological change should be distributed between employer and workers. Unions had had to tackle difficult issues of structure - how far decisions should be centralised and how far they should be left to those on the spot - and of collaboration between crafts and within industries. Unions had to confront the issue of politics and how to operate most effectively in a state which was increasingly placing its weight on the side of capitalism.
21 Most were there because they resented London claims to speak for all of the country. Impressed by the effective publicity which the conference achieved and still concerned to win the propaganda debate in favour of trade unionism, S. C. Nicholson, the president of the Manchester and Salford Trades Council, called what is usually taken as the founding conference of the Trades' Union Congress in June 1868. 22 The initial structure was modelled on the Social Science Association whose annual conferences discussed presented papers, but there was an immediate decision by the 34 delegates to turn it into an annual meeting which could act as a pressure group on Parliament and encourage collaboration between unions.
A History of British Trade Unionism 1700–1998 by W. Hamish Fraser