Thursday, March 06, 2008

Match Women’s Strike 1888-2008

I was sent a press release about an event to mark the 120th anniversary of this landmark East End strike. I have mentioned this dispute before. I work very near to the old Bryant & May Factory building which still dominates the locality.

Even if many people who either drive past it on the Bow flyover or while on the train into Liverpool Street, probably don’t have a clue about its importance in trade union and organised labour history.

“Celebration of the Bryant & May Match women’s Strike in the summer of 1888. 120 years ago fourteen hundred women workers walked out of Bryant & May’s Bow factory.

This meeting will discuss with a panel of speakers how the strike was organised; who led them; what impact did it have on new unionism as it developed from the 1880’s and particularly the strike of the London Dockers in 1889."

Saturday 26th July 2008 1.30 pm for 2.00 pm (provisional) starting with buffet lunch at TUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3S

Speakers invited: Include:
·1 Louise Raw (researcher at London Metropolitan University)
·2 Professor Mary Davis (London Metropolitan University)
·3 Teresa Mackay (TGWU/Unite)

Greater London Association of Trades Union Councils Supported by: SERTUC; other trade union organisations are being invited to support


Anonymous said...

we should of course recall that the workforce in the Bryant & May factory was mainly Irish. and the Irish also involved in the Dock strike.

We can also note the 6,000 strong four week "Great" London East End Jewish Tailors strike which started on the 29th August 1889 lead by Lewis Lyons from the strike HQ at the White Hart Public House, Greenfield Street. (East End Jewish unions can be traced back to the 1870's)

So migrant workers organising in unions is nothing new. UNISON with it's work amongst new waves of Filipino and Polish workers is simply building upon this experience

As for the Socialist (SDF) tailor Lewis Lyons he deserves more recogbition

John Gray said...

belatedly agreed anon