Wednesday, 25 September 2019

BUIRA IS Seminar on British and German Labour Unrest pre-First World War

BUIRA History of Industrial Relations Study Group

Labour Unrest pre-First World War: Germany and the UK Compared

Tuesday 12 November 2019

3.30pm for 4.00-6.00m (Tea/ coffee from 3.30)

Room tbc,University of Westminster Business School,35
Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS (opposite Madame Tussauds and nearly opposite Baker Street tube)

The event is free and no need to register in advance but for further details , please email Michael Gold (
or Linda Clarke (


3.30-3.50pm:Tea/ coffee/ refreshments

Gold and Linda Clarke (Chairs)

4.00-4.30:Ralph Darlington

Pre-First World War Labour Unrest and Women’s Suffrage Revolt: Never the Twain Shall Meet?

During the years immediately preceding the First World War, Britain experienced social unrest on a scale beyond anything since the first half of the 19th century.
Both the women’s suffrage revolt for the vote (embracing suffragettes and suffragists) and the unprecedented labour unrest of 1910-14 (involving strikes in pursuit of higher wages, better working conditions and trade union recognition) utilised dramatic
‘direct action’ forms of militant struggle from below
that represented a formidable challenge to the social and political order of Edwardian Britain.This
re-examines the historical record to deploy both new and previously unutilised evidence to provide a detailed assessment of the interconnections between the women’s and labour
movements in this defining period of British history.

4.30-5.00: Joern Janssen

1910 Eight-week Lockout in the German Construction Industry: a Victory of Labour against Private Property

This presentation analyses the greatest industrial confrontation in German history, which ran from 15 April to 20 June 1910 and ended with the virtually complete defeat
of the construction employers’ federation on 16 June 1910 through the verdict of a tripartite court of arbitration. It consolidated a new stage in labour-property relations and the role of labour in the development of anonymous capital. This industrial dispute
was about a national framework agreement on collective employment relations and bargaining. It transformed employee organisation and divided the employers’ organisation, benefiting, on the one hand, the central sectoral industrial labour unions to the detriment
of trade organisations and, on the other, the anonymous corporations to the detriment of personal ownership of industrial enterprise.

5.00-5.30: General discussion

5.30pm: Close (followed by drinks until6.00pm)

The speakers:

Ralph Darlington is Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Salford.He
is the author ofThe Dynamics of Workplace Unionism (Mansell 1994) and
Radical Unionism: The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism
(Haymarket 2013), co-author of
Glorious Summer: Class Struggle in Britain 1972 (Bookmarks 2001), and is currently researching for a book to be published by Pluto Press onThe Labour Unrest 1910-1914.

Joern Janssen, born in Düsseldorf in Germany, studied architecture
in the 1950s and worked as an architect from 1960 to 1970. He was awarded his PhD in political sciences (rer. pol.) in 1973 and became a Professor in construction economics at the Fachhochschule Dortmund from 1972 to 1997. He was a Visiting Professor at the
University of Westminster 1997-2001, and since 1997 has been researching the history of labour-property relations.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Remembering the Stop the Seventy Tour campaign

Anti-apartheid supporters marched from Bute Town in Cardiff to protest at the Springboks v Cardiff rugby match on 13 December 1969. Copyright © Morning Star - from here:

Autumn 1969 and Spring 1970 saw demonstrations and pitch invasions of grounds to disrupt the Springboks rugby team - representing apartheid South Africa - as they toured Britain and Ireland. Organised by the Stop the Seventy Tour Committee with the support of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, this mass civil disobedience in the face of police brutality successfully stopped the 1970 South African cricket tour and future cricketing tours until apartheid fell - a victory for anti-racists everywhere and a tremendous example of international solidarity. We are researching the campaign and its roots for a pamphlet to be published early next year to mark the victory - and would very much welcome testimony or memories from any involved in this inspiring campaign. Please find us at or - many thanks
In solidarity,
Geoff Brown and Christian Hogsbjerg