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Ken Young

11 Strike hard, strike sure … and strike together? [Coordination of nuclear strike plans] the most important development in recent years in planning for the UK strategic bomber force … further evidence that the United States regards this country, both military and economically, as a good investment. Air Vice-Marshal John Stephenson, December 1956 Anglo-American atomic collaboration developed on an increasingly broad front from the mid-1950s. This was no longer just a basing agreement, but rather a growing partnership. It developed from providing a platform for

in The American bomb in Britain
Abstract only
Arlette Jouanna

4 Surgical strike H istorians are in the habit of using just one term, the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, to indicate what happened on 24 August 1572. This is misleading, as it risks confusing two quite different events – first, the ‘execution’ of the Huguenot leaders thought to be seditious, as decided by the King’s council on the evening of 23 August; second, the extermination of all Protestants in the capital triggered by the explosion of anger among Parisian Catholics. It would be better to distinguish a first from a second massacre.1 The problem of the

in The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
John Shepherd

Chapter Five Public sector strikes On 22 January 1979, an arctic winter’s day, 1.5 million workers stopped work as part of a ‘National Day of Action’ in Britain. This was the largest turn-out since the 1926 General Strike. The Daily Telegraph called it the biggest rally since the large-scale demonstration against the Heath govern­ ment’s Industrial Relations Act in 1971.1 About 60,000 people had journeyed to London to gather in Hyde Park and march to Parliament. Jeff Baker, from Port Talbot, a young hospital porter and shop steward in the National Union of

in Crisis? What crisis?
John Shepherd

Chapter Three The Ford strike, 1978 On the first day of the nine-week strike at the Ford Motor Company in late September 1978, the Daily Mail carried a typical banner headline: ‘More than 3,000 Ford workers stormed out on strike against the pay limit’.1 The Financial Times headlined a similar story on its front page: ‘All-out strike call at Ford’.2 From the beginning, media coverage portrayed the dispute as a major industrial stoppage, involving the 57,000 workforce at Britain’s leading American-owned motor manufacturer, and mainly as an out and out challenge

in Crisis? What crisis?
The perfect storm
Gordon Gillespie

2 The Ulster Workers’ Council strike: the perfect storm Gordon Gillespie From the outbreak of the Troubles in 1968 up to 1974 Unionists believed that they had suffered a series of political defeats which included the abolition of the B Specials and the failure of security forces to defeat the Irish Republican Army (IRA), culminating in the suspension (effectively the abolition) of the Northern Ireland Parliament in March 1972. British government plans for a new administration for Northern Ireland suggested the inclusion of individuals like Gerry Fitt and John

in Sunningdale, the Ulster Workers’ Council strike and the struggle for democracy in Northern Ireland
Rachelle Hope Saltzman

6 Humours1 of the Great Strike In reality the spirit in which the strike was faced was amazing. There was a sort of picnic feeling in the air. No one minded inconveniences . . . all were taken as ‘jolly good fun.’ Perhaps this was partly because everyone was sure that the stoppage would not be of long duration . . . there was certainly no doubt as to the sporting spirit in which every discomfort and difficulty was met and conquered . . . Young men . . . became ticket collectors or porters and filled the bill as to the manner born. (‘The Humours of the Great

in A lark for the sake of their country
Jack Saunders

5 Towards ‘strike free’, 1975–82 By 1975, most car factories in Britain had developed powerful workplace organisations. Car workers could expect that through their workshop meetings, shop stewards, joint shop stewards’ committees (JSSCs), works committees, convenors and union officials they would be able to exert some control over the conditions in which they worked. Ultimately, if those conditions proved unsatisfactory, they could organise actions – petitions, collective grievances, partial performance of duties, overtime bans, strikes and factory occupations

in Assembling cultures
Andrew Poe

happens when enthusiasm starts to become enmeshed in ideology, and how to begin to distinguish it in action. Here I highlight an alternative pathway for a more radical manifestation of political enthusiasm. Walter Benjamin’s essay Critique of Violence (1921) offers important examples of acts of enthusiasm, and especially the general strike. 23 Benjamin’s discussion of the general strike draws the

in Political enthusiasm
Jonathan Moss

2 The Ford Sewing machinists’ strike, 1968, Dagenham O n 7 June 1968, the 187 female sewing machinists at Ford’s River Plant in Dagenham, Essex, walked out of their factory and ‘into the pages of history’ as they went on strike against sex discrimination in their job grading.1 Ford had introduced a new wage structure in 1967 that separated the workforce into five standard grades, ranging from the least skilled Grade A, which included non-production workers, to Grade E, which comprised the most skilled craft jobs. The sewing machinists, who produced car

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

3 The Scottish industrial politics of the strike Coal production ceased on 12 March in Scotland, but solidarity across the coalfield was still being consolidated one week later, when the NUMSA and SCEBTA strike committee met for the first time. Picketing was still required at Barony, where some miners were appealing for a national ballot, and at Bilston Glen. 1 These partial divisions were acknowledged in a press statement issued by Eric Clarke for NUMSA on 15 March, which referred in low-key terms to the ‘growing sense of unity’ among Scotland’s miners. Clarke

in Collieries, communities and the miners’ strike in Scotland, 1984–85