Louise Raw: The Match Women’s Strike 1888

3 June
, 6:30 PM – 8 PM
  • Wednesday, June 3, 2020
  • 6:30 PM  8:00 PM

Please sign up in advance of the event here.

We will be kicking our ‘UNION TALK’ series off on 3rd June at 6.30pm with a talk and discussion with Louise Raw on the Match Women’s’ strike of 1888. Louise argues that the strike not only inspired the famous London Dock Strike of 1889 but actually gave birth to “the mothers of the entire modern labour movement, and Labour Party”

In her own words, Louise says: “Victorian women made me a historian! Researching the East London Match women who went on strike against powerful employers in 1888, and eventually meeting descendants, I discovered the story I’d been told about this ‘unimportant’ event was completely wrong. These young, mainly Irish women had in fact changed the world for working people, founding the modern British labour movement & by extension, Labour Party. It’s my mission to teach this new history to everyone from young girls today to those in power.”

How did these women get organised and sustain themselves during the strike? What support did they have from MPs, other trade unions and left wing intellectuals? What influence did this strike have on other workers? 

Answer these questions and more at our first Union Talks event, kicking off the two month series on lessons from radical trade union organizing.

Louise Raw is a Labour historian with a background in the Trade Union movement and political campaigning who has spoken throughout the world and in the media about her research into the Match women’s strike which culminated in the groundbreaking book ‘Striking a Light’. She also organises the annual London Match women’s Festival. 

Please sign up in advance of the event here.

Photo: TUC



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