By John Lovell

ISBN-10: 1349004359

ISBN-13: 9781349004355

ISBN-10: 1349004375

ISBN-13: 9781349004379

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Furthermore, wartime sacrifices, and the example of the Russian and other revolutions, had generated among many workers an appetite for radical change, a determination not to return to the pre-1914 order. In the main it was to the Labour Party that working people looked as the instrument capable of transforming capitalist society; the working-class movement while increasingly socialist in its assumptions, remained constitutional in character. 3· A TRADE-UNION CENTRE The tendency after the war to regard the future of society in terms of a confrontation between Capitalism and Socialism was reinforced by party political developments.

As the prospect of an early end to the war receded further into the distance, the morale of industrial workers began to break down. There were good reasons for this. While the unions had leant over backwards to accommodate the Government, the latter had done little to protect the workers from the distorting effects of war upon the economy. The cost of living had increased greatly but without a commensurate increase in wage rates. There were numerous other sources of tension; overcrowded housing in munition centres, restrictions on the movement of workers in key industries, and of course dilution.

U. had been established for this purpose, but the miners, railwaymen and transport workers were not prepared to participate in action in which the Federation was associated, since they saw it as a major obstacle to the achievement of industrial unionism. These three unions had talked of a joint organisation during the past few years; now, at the suggestion of the miners, they decided to create a triple alliance. Each union pledged that it would support the others and if one went on strike the other two would strike in sympathy.

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A Short History of the T.U.C by John Lovell


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