Chapter 1

Setting the scene

  • Running a union in conditions of mass unemployment
  • Rescuing the Labour Party
  • Conflict with the Left


Chapter 2

Developing the union in conditions of mass unemployment

  • 1931-8 struggle against Bedaux leads to unionisation of new industries, esp
  • women, WU adding engineering


Chapter 3

Bevin and rank and file movements

  • London buses
  • Other rank and file movements – including NUWM
  • Banning of rank and file news-sheets 1937


Chapter 4

T&G members and Spain

  • Jack Jones
  • Portraits of other TGWU members


Chapter 5

T&G and Ireland

  • Class unity against sectarianism: its limits


Chapter 6 T&G and organisation by women workers

  • Pre-war
  • Wartime: 400,000 women members – demands for facilities as well as pay


Chapter 7 T&G, Bevin and wartime trade unionism

  • Joint Production Committees and development of shop stewards
  • movement
  • Statist legacy of JPCs?


Regional studies

  • All regions: Spain, organisation of women workers, rank and file movements
  • South Midlands: Oxford Pressed Steel strike (women workers)
  • London: bus workers
  • Ireland: T&G and sectarianism
  • Wartime Joint Production Committees and shop stewards movement


Strategic issues

  • How valid was the union strategy of closed shop/no strike deals with employers for union survival ~ what were the benefits and costs ?
  • How far did Bevin’s ‘centrist’ influence exercised over the Labour Party in the 1930s, through control over the D Herald and in the nat exec, hold back anti-fascist mobilisation and allow space for the government to pursue appeasement policies (tactical alignment with Germany to protect Britain’s imperial interests against the US)?
  • What, in terms of the understandings developed during the war about TU- government cooperation in Keynesian economic management, were the potential benefits and costs for organised labour?


Download Plan Here