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Trade Unions (II)
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★ Trade Unions (II)

Trade Unions (II): see Trade Unions (I) & Labour & Solidarity & Unity & Equality & Inequality & Justice & Injustice & Industry & Industrial Action & Industrial Revolution & Dissent & Protest & Demonstrations & Strike & Activism & Work & Employees & Pay & Wages

Emily Blunt - The Frightened City 1961 - Billy Bragg - Secret History: Winter of Discontent TV - Matewan 1987 - Vive le Revolution! Joan Bakewell on May 1968 - Ken Loach TV - Dolores 2017 - House of Cards US 2013-2018 - Bisbee ’17 2018 - American Factory TV - Mrs Thatcher vs The Miners: The Battle for Britain TV - Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price TV - Mobsters TV - Mark Thomas TV - Abby Martin - With Banners & Babies: Story of the Emergency Women’s Brigade 1979 - Union Maids 1976 - Second Thought online - Strike: Inside the Unions TV - Secret History TV - Utah Phillips - Play for Today: The Rank & File TV -              

 

 

 

Trade Unions are a major inconvenience to those who wish to exploit and steal from the working class.  Emily Blunt

 

 

If you six split up the town between you think how it would increase your income ... Form a trade union.  The Frightened City 1961 starring Sean Connery & Herbert Lom & John Gregson & Alfred Marks & Yvonne Romain & David Davies & Olive MacFarland & Kenneth Griffiths & George Pastell & Arnold Diamond & Norrie Paramour et al, director John Lemont,  accountant to Harry

 

 

There is power in a factory, power in the land
Power in the hand of the worker
But it all amounts to nothing
If together we don't stand
There is power in a Union

 

Now the lessons of the past
Were all learned with workers blood
The mistakes of the bosses we must pay for
From the cities and the farmlands
To trenches full of mud …  Billy Bragg, There’s Power in a Union lyrics

 

 

A devastating series of strikes brought the country to a halt and changed the face of British politics for ever.  Revolution indeed: Labour was cast into the wilderness for nineteen years and union power was smashed.  It was called the Winter of Discontent.  Secret History s6e8: Winter of Discontent, Channel 4 1998

 

The trades unions were fed up after three years of incomes policy.  ibid.

 

The first big test came with the pay negotiations at Ford … The workers wanted 30%; inside, management offered 5%.  ibid.

 

The 5% pay limit was being ignored by almost everyone except the government.  ibid.

    

Strikes by ambulancemen and hospital ancillary staff soon meant that nearly half the country’s hospitals could handle emergencies only.  ibid.

 

In Liverpool even the gravediggers went on strike.  ibid.

 

Council workers were now going on strike.  ibid.

 

The rubbish was piling up.  ibid.

 

 

It were 1920 in the south-west field and things was tough.  The miners was trying to bring the union to West Virginia and the coal operators and their gun thugs was set on keeping ’em out.  Matewan ***** 1987 starring Chris Cooper & James Earl Jones & Mary McDonnell & Will Oldham & David Strathairn & Ken Jenkins & Gordon Clapp & Bob Gunton & John Mostel & Kevin Tighe & John Sayles et al, director John Sayles

 

We did it, Mamma.  We’re going to have the union.  ibid.  miner  

 

You don’t want to go there, mister.  Ain’t nuttin’ but crazy people.  ibid.  train guard

 

These picks and shovels are to be considered a loan from the Stone Mountain Coal Company.  Their cost will be deducted from the first month’s pay.  ibid.  company man  

 

I was with the Wobblies.  ibid.  Convenor

 

If you stand alone, you’re just so much shit to those people.  ibid.

 

You work, they don’t: that’s all you got to know about the enemy.  ibid.

 

The union didn’t have too much it could give to the people back then.  All we got in common is our misery.  ibid.  commentary    

 

A new day coming: sometimes I could just about see it.  But it were a dangerous living for a union man and you didn’t dare turn your back.  It was hard time.  It was hungry times too.  The union relief was spread thin, and hope of a new day could feed your soul but leave your belly rumbling.  ibid.

 

 

On May 13th the trade unions announced a general strike … the workers had their own objectives … By May 22nd that figure had swollen to ten million.  Vive le Revolution! Joan Bakewell on May 1968

 

 

This was the battleground: here where we lived and worked is where we fought the enemy.  And for those of us who remain on the blacklist continue to fight.  A drab town with a population of over 100,000 where 61% of the houses are rented, 34% have no inside toilets … A battered landscape scarred by years of exploitation.  Ken Loach: The Wednesday Play: The Rank and File, BBC 1971

 

There hadn’t been a strike here for a hundred years.  And the union enjoyed the protection of a closed shop where contributions were automatically deducted from workers’ pay packets.  And meetings were as rare as a sunny day on a wet weekend.  Then it happened.  ibid.

 

A clown official from a bloody clown union.  ibid.  branch meeting

 

We’ve lost faith in you completely.  ibid.

 

But what do you do when those who are supposed to be leading the strike go out of their way to defeat it?  ibid.

 

The strike is unofficial.  ibid.  union official

 

That’s a reporter: they’ve had a meeting this morning of the management and the bloody union, and the management have offered three pounds and the union’s accepted it.  ibid.  strike committee member takes phone call

 

You’re not even entitled to hardship money.  ibid.  union official

 

 

In September 1995 nearly 500 Liverpool dockers were sacked.  Their fight for reinstatement has become one of the most important industrial disputes in Britain.  Yet it is scarcely reported, is largely ignored by politicians and is not officially recognised by the unions.  Ken Loach, The Flickering Flame, 1997

 

The story of the dockers is the story of a struggle for regular work, regular hours and regular pay.  Everyone has a fear of going back to the bad old days.  ibid.

 

They [employers] found a willing ally in Margaret Thatcher.  And in 1989 the National Dock Labour Scheme was abolished.  ibid.

 

The T&G had called off the strike everywhere else.  ibid.

 

The evils of casual labour began to reappear.  ibid.

 

329 dock workers were sacked for showing their solidarity with the Torside men.  ibid.

 

The dockers and their families are now up against it – real hardship.  ibid.

 

Women have got organised – Women of the Waterfront.  ibid.

 

There has been solidarity action from dockers in twenty-two countries.  ibid.

 

 

Piccadilly was already a seething mass of people; the hoarding around Eros was crowded with young people mainly from the Forces.  Ken Loach: The Spirit of 45, 2013, woman

 

Will we, the people who have won the war, drive home our victory against fascism by defeating our pre-war enemies of poverty and unemployment?  ibid.  man  

 

We’re still being taken in.  ibid.

 

The great inter-war slumps were not acts of God or blind forces.  They were the sure and certain result of the concentration of too much economic power in the hands of too few men.  ibid.  Labour Party manifesto 45

 

The Labour Party is a socialist party and proud of it.  Its ultimate purpose at home is the establishment of the socialist commonwealth of Great Britain  free, democratic, efficient, progressive, public-spirited, its material resources organised in the service of the British people.  ibid.

 

The best health services should be available free for all.  Money must no longer be the passport to the best treatment.  ibid.

 

Newspapers carried the astonishing news to an amazed public  Labour landslide.  ibid.  Pathé news

 

We have been the dreamers, we have been the sufferers, now we are the builders.  ibid.  Aneurin Bevan  

 

The idea that people who worked in the industry had any say in how the industry was run was a completely foreign idea.  ibid.  Tony Benn  

 

It was not until 1967 that dockers gained permanent employment.  ibid. 

 

They [rozzer] seemed to enjoy inflicting pain and suffering on the working man.  ibid.  striking miner    

 

The last registered dock workers did not get their jobs back.   Casual labour has returned to the docks.  ibid.  

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