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Malcolm Chase

1 George Howell, the Webbs and the political culture of early labour history M alcolm Chase George Howell (1833–1910) was the epitome of a nineteenth-century auto­ didact, having received an indifferent education, largely part-time, that ended when he was twelve. Successively a ploughboy, apprentice shoemaker and from the age of twenty-two a bricklayer, he doggedly built a career in labour movement politics, first achieving public prominence as Secretary of the London Trades’ Council in 1861–62. He established a reputation as an exceptionally energetic

in Labour and working-class lives
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Material culture and tangible labour

With the increasing digitisation of almost every facet of human endeavour, concerns persist about ‘deskilling’ and precarious employment. The publishing industry has turned its energy to online and electronic media, and jobs continue to disappear from printing, publishing and journalism. The replacement of human labour with computerised technologies is not merely a contemporary issue; it has an established history dating from the mid-twentieth century. What is often missing from this record is an understanding of how the world of work is tightly interwoven with the tangible and affective worlds of material culture and design, even in ‘clean’ computerised environments. Workplace culture is not only made up of socio-political relationships and dynamics. It is also bound up with a world of things, with and through which the social and gendered processes of workplace life are enacted and experienced. Understanding how we interact with and interpret design is crucial for appreciating the complexities of the labour experience, particularly at times of technological disruption. Hot Metal reveals integral labour-design relationships through an examination of three decades in the printing industry, between the 1960s and 1980s. This was the period when hot-metal typesetting and letterpress was in decline; the early years of the ‘digital switch’. Using oral histories from an intriguing case-study – a doggedly traditional Government Printing Office in Australia – this book provides an evocative rendering of design culture and embodied practice in a context that was, like many workplaces, not quite ‘up-to-date’ with technology. Hot Metal is also history of how digital technologies ruptured and transformed working life in manufacturing. Rather than focusing solely on ‘official’ labour, this book will introduce the reader to workers’ clandestine creative practices; the making of things ‘on the side’.

Essays to celebrate the life and work of Chris Wrigley

This book reflects upon the wide range of Chris Wrigley's research and publications in the study of the various aspects of British labour history. It presents a set of themes revolving around the British labour movement and the lives of those connected with it. The book begins with a discussion on biography in the shape of George Howell's work on trade unions and presents Herbert Gladstone's view that the unions emerged from the medieval workers guilds. Chris was also interested in political figures connected with progressivism and the labour movement, which is reflected in the examination of Gladstone's role in the Liberal Party. There is an examination of the Co-operative Party in the north-east of England, the 1911 National Insurance Act, and the relationship between the unions and the Labour Party. The inter-war British labour politics is covered by the disaffiliation of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) from the Labour Party and by a study of the Progressive League. British and German working class lives are compared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Female trade unionism is dealt with a focus on Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries (AWCS). The contribution of the Lansburys is brought by an essay on the role of the family members in working-class politics, including women's enfranchisement. The book also deals with the attempt by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) to engage with punk music, and ends with a discussion on the theme of Labour disunity.

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Labour, design and culture
Jesse Adams Stein

dramatic (but often clumsy) technological and organisational transformation? This book begins the process of answering this question, and in doing so reveals the dense interconnectedness of labour, technology, material culture and the culture of working life. In doing so, MUP_Stein_Printer2.indd 6 10/08/2016 15:39 Introduction 7 Hot Metal operates on two levels: theory and content. On the one hand, it reveals a theoretical approach that consciously intermingles labour history with an attention to material culture and design, bringing a consideration of spaces

in Hot metal
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Nicola Ginsburgh

in British labour history, see Katrina Navickas , ‘ What Happened to Class? New Histories of Labour and Collective Action in Britain’ , Social History , 36 : 2 ( 2011 ), pp. 192 – 204 . 5 Neil Roos , ‘ South African History and Subaltern Historiography: Ideas for a Radical History of White Folk ’, International Review of Social History , 61 : 1 ( 2016 ), pp. 117 – 150 . 6 Paul Gilroy, Holberg Lecture, University of Bergen, 4 June 2019,

in Class, work and whiteness
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Peter Dorey

the context of deflation, which had alienated many workers who had voted Labour in 1966, but had thereafter become disillusioned with the re-elected Government’s economic, 4 Comrades in conflict industrial and social policies. Certainly, for many on the Left, the 1966–70 Labour Government was a classic example of ‘leadership betrayal’. Yet in spite of the controversies engendered by In Place of Strife, and the ensuing developments and intra-Party divisions, as well as deep tensions between Labour and the trade unions, this important episode in British labour

in Comrades in conflict
Madeleine Davis

ITLP_C03.QXD 18/8/03 9:55 am Page 39 3 ‘Labourism’ and the New Left Madeleine Davis This chapter assesses the contribution made to analysis of the Labour Party and labour history by thinkers of the British New Left. In part constituted in opposition to old left tendencies, including Labour, the British New Left took an independent, broadly Marxist, position. Its thinkers thus offered theoretically informed analyses of the party and its role – mainly, as will be seen, in terms of the category labourism – that were highly critical. They were preoccupied in

in Interpreting the Labour Party
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Activism, feminism and the rise of the female office worker during the First World War and its immediate aftermath
Nicole Robertson

lies between the sub-disciplines of women’s history and labour history. By locating the AWCS at the intersection of histories of women workers during the First World War and accounts of trade unionism among non-manual workers, this chapter will contribute to the growing literature on the history of work in Britain. It will reveal how a separatist, feminist presence developed, constructed around career opportunities for trained women clerks (clerks being the most numerous of the non-manual workforce). It examines the conflict that this caused in a male

in Labour and working-class lives
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Factory closures, material culture and loss
Jesse Adams Stein

resilience bound up with the ever-changing physical and spatial world. A bringingtogether of labour history with design and material culture studies, therefore seems not only appropriate but, in some cases, entirely necessary. Almost like the objects in the building, the workers, too, had to market or sell themselves (or face unemployment). For some this would become second nature in an increasingly service-oriented economy. For others, being tied to hot metal was more than just a case of anachronistic ­inflexibility. The materiality of their labour had been core to their

in Hot metal
Jonathan Moss

3 The Trico-Folberth equal pay strike, Brentford, 1976 T he longest equal pay strike in British labour history took place at the Trico-Folberth windscreen wiper factory in Brentford, west London, during the summer of 1976. It began on 28 May when 400 female production workers voted to go on strike to eliminate a £6.64 weekly wage differential between male and female assembly line workers. The assembly line had traditionally been split between an all-female day shift and an all-male night shift. Workers on the night shift had earned an overtime premium on top of

in Women, workplace protest and political identity in England, 1968-85