Chapter 1        

Setting the Scene

  • Transport and general workers: occupations, conditions and origins in generation before 1920

  •   Unionisation 1880s to 1920

  •   Key individuals and places

  •   The emergence of a radical mass trade union movement

Chapter 2

Context for Unity: war and labour movement militancy 1920-21

  • Strategies of the British state:: imperialism triumphant but vulnerable

  • Bevin, Robert Williams, the ITF, the Triple Alliance and Black Friday

  • A divided labour movement: Left, Right and Centre perspectives


Chapter 3

Creating the T&G 1922

  •  A movement under siege: mass unemployment; lockouts
  •   Component unions and trade groups
  •  Bevin’s organisational strategy
  •   Enforcing compliance: clash with London dockers


Chapter 4

The T&G and labour movement resurgent 1923-24

  • Revival of militancy: agric labourers, dockers, tramway workers, NE trams

  • The T&G and Labour’s electoral advance

  • Bevin and the first Labour government: clash over strategy


Chapter 5

The T&G, Bevin and the General Strike

  • Bevin and the right-wing realignment of the TUC after Red Friday

  • The T&G and the General Strike: clash of assessments

  • Regional studies of the strike


Chapter 6

Responses to Defeat: collaboration or responsible damage limitation

  • Bevin and the Weir Mond discussions

  • Clash with the London dockers

  • Consolidation and Workers Union merger: industrial workplace

    unionism Local studies


Chapter 7

TGW, Bevin and the Second Labour Government

  • Labour and the economic crisis

  • Bevin’s Keynesian imperialism against Snowden’s free trade


  • TGW and the Labour Party: the Daily Herald

  • Disputes: Glasgow dockers; Lucas strike (female workers)


Regional studies

All regions: identifying archives
All: what was the regional strength of the T&G in 1922 All: general strike: how strong was the local response ? London: dockers, tramway workers
North East: tramway 1923
Eastern: farm labourers Norfolk 1823
Wales: Connah’s Quay galvanisers 1923
Scotland: Glasgow dockers breakaway

Strategic issues/debates

  • Was Bevin correct, from 1920-21 onwards, in steering the TU movement to the centre right and isolating the Left ?

  • Was there a real opportunity of inflicting a strategic defeat on the Conservative government/ruling class in 1925-26 ? Parallel between Mond talks and current ‘Fair Work’

  • How far did Bevin and the T&G leadership determine the constitutionalist and parliamentary character of the Labour Party – creating the basis for the 1931 debacle?


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