Trade Union Militancy

How many were in trade unions pre and post-war?
There were 4 million before the war, and this increased to 8 million after the war.
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Why was the increase in members useful?
It gave the unions a greater authority as the government needed workers, especially during the war. They relied on the staple industries, e.g. steel and shipbuilding.
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Why was the TUC majorly successful during the war?
The government needed workers; the TUC worked closely with the Labour Party; the coalition government listened to one another; Labour leader Arthur Henderson was on the Cabinet.
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Why were the industries, e.g. miners, happy during the war?
The government had nationalised their businesses and they preferred this over independent ownership of the mines.
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What were the strikes during the war? Were they successful?
Rent Strikes occurred in Glasgow (successful); leaving certificate strikes in Glasgow (successful); shipbuilders went on strike for higher pay (successful)
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What was the Forty Hours Strike?
It occurred in Red Clydeside for better working-hours in 1919 (Glasgow). They wanted hours distributed evenly so more people could work. This was also Battle of George Square as the government over-reacted due to the Russian Revolution.
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What happened to the leader of this strike?
Manny Shinwell was arrested for calling upon other industries to sympathy strike.
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Railway Strike in 1919?
The railworkers went on strike because their wages had been reduced. They won.
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What happened on the docks in 1919/20?
People refused to load ships with weapons to aid Poland in a war against Russia. A council of action was set up to prevent British involvement.
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What did the Unions do to make themselves stronger?
They started amalgamating so they could better co-ordinate.
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What were the problems in coal following the war?
There was an increased reliance on oil instead of coal as fuel; there were rising rival industries in Germany and Belgium; the British coal industry was old and it was therefore harder to mine coal.
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What happened when the miners were threatened with de-nationalisation?
They planned to strike alone, so DLG set up the Sankey Committee. This recommended continued nationalisation, but DLG kicked this down the path and later went ahead with de-nationalisation. This brought along a 30% wage cut with it.
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How did the miners react?
They felt betrayed, so they called upon the Triple Alliance to support them. There was a short strike in October 1920, which worked.
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So, what happened when the miners were locked out in 1921?
They again called upon the Triple Alliance but it failed as the other industries cancelled their sympathy strikes (Black Friday)
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How was a General Strike averted?
The government under Baldwin issued a six-month subsidy of £23 million to maintain wages. In the meantime, the govt. prepared for a counter-strike.
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What was the Samuel Commission?
It was ordered to find a solution to the mining issues. It pleased nobody as it recommended: end of the subsidy, maintenance of a national wage, a 13.5% wage cut and the restructuring of the mining industry.
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When did the General Strike take place?
May 4-11, 1926.
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How many went on strike?
Ernest Bevin ensured that 1.5 million workers joined the 1 million miners.
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How did it fail?
The government were prepared. By the second week, it became obvious that they could keep the country running as they transported food from the docks to the centre of London. Govt. also used Emergency Powers Act.
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What was the consequence?
The miners returned to work - often to lower pay and worse hours. Govt. introduced the Trade Dispute Act, banning sympathy strikes, limiting strikes and banning TU money for political purposes.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Why was the increase in members useful?

Back

It gave the unions a greater authority as the government needed workers, especially during the war. They relied on the staple industries, e.g. steel and shipbuilding.

Card 3

Front

Why was the TUC majorly successful during the war?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why were the industries, e.g. miners, happy during the war?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What were the strikes during the war? Were they successful?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards

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