Professor Ralph Darlington: Early British Syndicalism and The Great Unrest

10 June
, 6:30 PM – 8 PM
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2020
  • 6:30 PM  8:00 PM

Please sign up in advance of the event here

Our second Union Talk aims to provide a brief historical overview of this legendary revolutionary union movement, focusing on the activity and influence of the British syndicalists who helped to build union membership and strong workers’ organisation through collective struggle.

It seeks to explore a number of ideological, political and organisational challenges and dilemmas that confronted the syndicalist movement and which remain issues for trade unionists today, including: 

  • The contradictory nature of trade unionism
  • The bureaucratization of trade union officials and structure
  • ‘Boring from within’ versus ‘dual unionism’ – do we work to transform existing trade unions from within, or construct entirely new revolutionary union organisations?
  • Organisation and leadership – limits and potential of decentralised, localised and horizontal forms of democratic accountability
  • The relationship between economics and politics for industrial struggles

Following a presentation on these issues, there will be plenty of time for questions, discussion and debate.

Ralph Darlington is Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Salford. His research is concerned with the dynamics of trade union organisation, activity and consciousness within both contemporary and historical settings. He has published widely in numerous academic journals and is the author of The Dynamics of Workplace Unionism (Mansell 1994) and Radical Unionism: The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism (Haymarket 2013), co-author of Glorious Summer: Class Struggle in Britain 1972 (Bookmarks 2001) and editor of What’s The Point of Industrial Relations: In Defence of Critical Social Science (BUIRA 2009). He is currently researching to write a new book on the 1910-14 labour unrest in Britain to be published by Pluto Press.

Please sign up in advance of the event here



9.30 -12.00


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