Today in Labor History

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Archive for the tag “london”

October 4, 1936

October 4An estimated crowd of more than 100,000 trade unionists, anti-fascist activists, and local residents barricade streets leading into London’s East End to stop a march by British fascists. The 6,000 police officers who attempted to clear a route for the fascists were met with fierce resistance in what became known as the Battle of Cable Street and the march was re-routed.

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June 13, 1977

June 13Police kick and punch women on a picket line at the Grunwick photo processing plant in Willesden, North West London, dragging some women by their hair as they were arrested. By the end of the day the police had arrested more than 80 women. The mainly female Asian workforce walked out in 1976 over wages and working conditions, were all fired, and were on the picket line for two years.

June 7, 1968

webmediaWomen sewing machinists at Ford’s Dagenham factory in London go out on strike over pay discrimination. Three weeks later, they agreed to return to work after being offered 92% of the men’s wages. Two years later, the Equal Pay Act of 1970 was enacted, which, for the first time, prohibited less favorable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment.

July 10, 1917

CWGThe London-based Co-operative Women’s Guild mourns the death of Harriet Ann Kidd, donating a headstone for her work on behalf of working class women. Kidd began working at age 10 in the silk mills in Leek, Staffordshire, and became a life-long activist around suffrage and women’s rights at work.

July 5, 1888

July 6

1,500 workers go on strike at the Bryant and May match factory in London after management fires two people suspected of providing information that led to an expose about the appalling working conditions in the factory. The women and girls were subjected to fourteen-hour days, low pay, excessive fines, and the severe health complications of working with white phosphorus. The strike was quickly settled; in 1908 the British government banned the use of white phosphorus in matches.

February 8, 1886

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Tens of thousands of unemployed workers rally in Trafalgar Square in London, England. Scotland Yard was called in to quell the subsequent march and riot through the West End by what the press called a “class of loafers who are unemployed for the simple reason that they have never done a day’s work in their lives.”

June 22, 1977

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137 workers on strike at the Grunwick photo processing plant in Willesden, North West London, are supported by the first in a series of solidarity demonstrations and mass pickets attempting to prevent buses carrying scabs from entering the plant.   The mainly female Asian workforce walked out in 1976 over wages and working conditions, were all fired, joined a union, and were on the picket line for two years.

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