By Henry Pelling
The writer leads the reader via a narrative of fight and improvement masking greater than 4 centuries: from the medieval guilds and early craftsmen's and labourers' institutions to the dramatic development of exchange unionism in Britain within the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He exhibits how strong personalities akin to Robert Applegarth, Henry Broadhurst, Tom Mann, Ernest Bevin and Walter Citrine have helped to form the development of present-day unionism, and for this version he has additional a bankruptcy "On the shielding: the 1980s". the writer additionally wrote "The Origins of the Labour Party".
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Leaders constantly appealed for the maintenance of order, and few disturbances took place. In March the strike was already failing when the masters persuaded the local magistrates to arrest the strike leaders on charges of 'molesting and obstructing' some of the imported labourers, whom they had persuaded to return The Emergence of Trade Unionism PT. I to their homes. In May the strike finally collapsed, and the charges which were due to be heard at the autumn sessions were dropped. The Preston operatives had thus been defeated : but the memory of a strike lasting seven months was enough to deter any group of employers, however well-organised, from challenging their workers if they could avoid it.
We do not know how much support the National Association could claim in the country at large : it can hardly have had very much. But the formation of the London Trades Council in I 86o seemed to put matters on a different footing. Although London was only part of the whole country, it contained a large proportion of existing unionism, and was also the headquarters of a number of the national unions. The full-time secretaries of the latter formed a group which dominated the London Trades Council in its early days, and could claim in some sense at least to be representative of national union opinion.
I not entirely untypical in their course of evolution in the 185o's: Fines and footings, which hitherto had been exacted from strangers procuring work, or from apprentices entering the trade and passing from one stage to another, and which had led to habits of drinking, were abolished. , open to all comers, whether members or not. Increasingly, too, the middle-class exponents of Manchester economics began to find that the ablest of the unionists could argue with them on their own terms, and could present a powerful case for the existence of unions.
A History of British Trade Unionism by Henry Pelling