Sign up for next week’s talk here.
UVW’s series Union Talk got off to a great start yesterday with Louise Raw and learning about the incredible Match Women’s Strike of 1888. UVW membership learned how the Match Women founded the entire modern labour movement and Labour Party, went on to inspire the famous dock workers strike of 1889, and were the largest women workers union of their time.
Discussion centred around successful tactics the women used, how their organising compared to larger unions run by men at the time, and how racial and ethnic discrimination impacted their organising efforts.
One member commented, “I have always said the important thing is quality and not the quantity: it can be an area like women contemplating intersectionality. As we learned today, woman issues at work become more visible if they are the ones who lead their own struggle and defence. We have so many issues specific to women: single mothers, disempowerment, etc.”.
The history of the match women set the stage for our second talk by Ralph Darlington about early British syndicalism and the Great Unrest next week. Ralph will provide a historical overview of this revolutionary union movement, but also continue important discussions about:
The danger of corrupt union bureaucracy;
The benefits and limits of different leadership styles and organisational models;
And the balance between a focus on industrial struggle vs. wider social and political struggles.
Tune in next week, Wed 10th June at 6.30pm, sign up here.