Strikes and trade union history

Workers' Memorial Day - 'Fight for the living'

By Paul Hampton

Two million people are killed at work around the world every year according to the International Labour Organisation. This is greater than the numbers killed in wars, by AIDS or by alcohol and drugs.

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The History of May Day

by Jim

On May 1 1886, 80,000 workers and their families walked down Chicago's Michigan Avenue in the worlds first ever May Day Parade. At the same time 340,000 workers in 12,000 factories across the US downed tools in a general strike to demand an eight-hour day. They demanded that their employers provide work for the thousands who were being made unemployed by new machinery.

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Remember the martyrs: come to Tolpuddle

By Nick Holden

This year's Tolpuddle Festival is on Friday 18-Sunday 20 July, at Tolpuddle, Dorset. It is a heady mixture of music, drama and politics, uniting people across the country in a celebration of the trade union movement, and the memory of the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

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The first strike in North American history

Author: 

Pablo Velasco

In the summer of 1766, Mexican silver miners of Real del Monte, about one hundred kilometres north of Mexico City, developed a major industrial strike without a trade union or a political ideology to sustain them. It was the first strike in the history of Mexican labour and the first strike in North America.

In 1766, Mexican silver miners took part in the first strike in North America.

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Debate & discussion: Labour Herald

In his TV review, Jack Cleary gives a rather confused potted history of the Daily Herald (Solidarity, 8 April). You might be interested in a more accurate version from one who was a regular reader of the paper.

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Obituary: Des Warren

Des Warren, who died on 24 April aged 66, was one of the "Shrewsbury pickets", a group of building workers who were jailed by the then Conservative government in 1973 after a bitter dispute. Warren was a steel fixer and a member of the Communist Party. He later joined the Workers' Revolutionary Party.

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James Connolly: An Spailpin Fanach

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

An Spailpin Fanach

(Phrases in italics are James Connolly's)

Young nightsoil man who shovels human shit
Left in the streets for such as you to lift,

James Connolly 1868-1916

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100th anniversary of the Wobblies

This year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), otherwise known as the Wobblies, in the United States.

The IWW was founded in Chicago in 1905 at a convention of 200 socialists, anarchists and radical trade unionists from all over the US, who were opposed to the policies of the mainstream American Federation of Labour (AFL).

The first IWW leaders included Bill Haywood, Daniel De Leon, Eugene Debs, Mary Harris Jones (commonly known as “Mother Jones”), Vincent Saint John and many others.

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1000 rally to defend pickets

By Cynthia Baldry, Workers’ Fight, March 1973

In Shrewsbury on 15 March, 24 building workers appearing in court were met by a show of solidarity from other workers, meeting outside the court and then marching through the town. They were also met by a massive attempt at intimidation by the forces of ruling class “law and order”.

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