By W. Hamish Fraser
This new background of British exchange unionism bargains the main concise and updated account of three hundred years of exchange union improvement, from the earliest documented makes an attempt at collective motion through operating humans within the eighteenth century via to the very diversified global of `New Unionism' and `New Labour'.
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Additional info for A History of British Trade Unionism 1700–1998
At the same time, there is no doubt that by the end of the 1850s there was among many trade unionists a growing 36 A History of British Trade Unionism, 1700-1998 acceptance of a great deal of the economics of laissez-faire. A decade of propaganda from the Anti-Corn Law League and the economic upturn of the late 1840s and early 1850s had been enough to convince most that the moves towards free trade were creating the conditions for economic prosperity. The few who tried to argue for protectionism or that the state had a responsibility to provide work for the unemployed found themselves increasingly isolated.
Three years later, some of the Yorkshire miners succeeded in creating a South Yorkshire Miners' Association, still only countybased, but linking many pits in an expanding coalfield. The Northumberland and Durham Miners' Association was revitalised in the 1860s when some employers tried to go back to yearly contracts. To the Webbs the ASE was the 'New Model' for modern unionism. Since then, the extent to which it was either new or a model has been regularly questioned. 2 Indeed, the Webbs themselves recognised that a great deal of what they highlighted had already existed for some time in the pre-amalgamation trade societies.
17 The need to win over influential support and public opinion was increasingly apparent to most trade unionists and resulted in a number of national conferences in the 1860s. In 1864, as part of a campaign launched by the Glasgow Trades Council against the Master and Servant Acts, a national conference of trade union representatives was held in London over three days to press for legislation to modify the ActS. 18 There was still pressure for defensive structures. Eighteen sixtyfive and 1866 saw an increased incidence of lock-outs by employers' organisations.
A History of British Trade Unionism 1700–1998 by W. Hamish Fraser
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