Pragmatism or politics
Leeds Jewish tailors and Leeds Jewish tailoring trade unions, 1876–1915
in Leeds and its Jewish Community
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This chapter provides a detailed and comprehensive account of the workers and masters in the Leeds tailoring industry. Many of the new immigrants worked in sweatshops and in the outsourced workshops, which were in many ways an updated form of the domestic system in which all members of the family worked in the home. The workers soon found common cause and combined together to form the first and largest tailoring trade union. Their leader was the socialist Moses Sclare, who was a nationally important figure in the labour movement. Many of the Jewish masters exploited their fellow Jews but an exception was David Lubelski, who supported higher wages and shorter hours.

Editor: Derek Fraser

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