Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourers Union

A badge of the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourers Union. 
 A badge of the Dock, Wharf,
Riverside and General
Labourers Union.

More commonly known simply as the Dockers Union, the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourers Union was originally formed in 1887 as the Tea Operatives and General Labourers Union.

The union recruited 2,300 members by the end of 1888, and in 1889 became involved in the Great Dock Strike which brought the Port of London to a halt. The dispute won widespread public support for the dockers, and achieved its aim of establishing a rate of 6d an hour.

In the wake of the strike, the union changed its name and membership grew rapidly to 30,932 by the end of 1889, and to 57,000 by the end of 1890. However, a dispute between dockworkers north and south of the Thames also led to the creation of a separate South Side Labour Protection League.

With the dockers split, and many remaining outside any union, by 1904, the Dockers Union had almost disappeared in London. It remained strong elsewhere in the countryhowever, and in 1922, the Dockers Union was one of 14 organisations which merged to form the Transport and General Workers Union.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

National Agricultural Labourers and Rural Workers Union

Badge of the National Agricultural Labourers and Rural Workers Union.

It had always been hard to organise farm workers, with early victories for the National Agricultural Labourers’ Union (formed 1872) turned into later defeats as much by the effect of bad harvests and migration from the country to the city as by employer lockouts.

However, in 1906, the Eastern Counties Agricultural Labourers and Smallholders Union was formed with George Edwards, a veteran of earlier farmworkers’ unions, as general secretary and George Nicholls, a Liberal MP, as president.

By 1910 it had recruited some 10,000 members by focusing on individual disputes and providing legal assistance for members in trouble. In 1912, the union had built sufficient confidence to become the National Agricultural Labourers and Rural Workers Union. The badge shown here dates from that period.

This new identity brought in carters, roadmen, gardeners navvies and others alongside the union’s core of farm workers. For the first time, women were also to be admitted.

By the time the union changed its name again in 1920, it had 180,000 members. It continued to operate as the National Union of Agricultural Workers (from 1968 the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers) until 1981, when it merged with the Transport and General Workers Union.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine