Repressive action against the Trade Union movement 1785 - 1834

  • Created by: becky.65
  • Created on: 30-03-18 12:40

For every person in favour of strike action, there was often another who opposed it due to needing to work to maintain their families

Financial implications of needing to work undermined the militancy of many workers

Those who continued to work were labelled by unions and made pariahs in the community because their actions greatly affected the success of the strike action by diluting its overall impact

Employers are also ways of neutralising strikes that took advantage of Britian's growing population:

  • employers drafted in new immigrants to fill in the void during a turnout
  • they were branded social pariahs and verbally attacked as 'knobsticks'
  • 1866 - Saw Grinders' Union strike in Sheffield they were physically attacked
  • The readiness of alternative supplies of labour continually undermined the development of effective worker protection

The 'Grand National' failed because:

  • in reality it remained a diffuse body of independent unions that remained wedded first to their own trade interests rather than the wider concerns of all workers
  • it had meagre funds avaliable to the organisation as it relied upon subscription fees and of the one million members, only 16,000 paid 
  • 1834 - fragility of this was exposed when 1,500 mill workers in Derby were locked out of their place of work for failing to abandon their union; lasted for four months but they eventually renounced the union and had to go back to work
  • the 'Document'; gave employers the power to sift out union members and…


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