Essay Compare Union Leader

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The Independent Labour Party (ILP), founded in Bradford in 1893 and the largest of the late nineteenth century socialist bodies (with 10,720 paid-up members in 1894-5), was much closer to trade unionism than the SDF.

The Independent Labour Party (ILP), founded in Bradford in 1893 and the largest of the late nineteenth century socialist bodies (with 10,720 paid-up members in 1894-5), was much closer to trade unionism than the SDF.

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It was contentious with the pre-1914 socialists and the post-1994 New Labour Blairites as well as with Labour’s political opponents, the Conservative and Liberal parties.

Yet, for the Labour Party the trade unions provided a solid bedrock of support and an ideological solidity in hard times, as in the face of National Labour in the 1930s and the break-away of the Social Democrat Party (SDP) in the 1980s.

Mais lors de « l’hiver du mécontentement » de 1979, les syndicats et les grèves ont constitué un handicap majeur pour le parti.

La relation entre les deux paraît s’être détériorée depuis ; néanmoins, au niveau national comme local, les syndicats fournissent au parti un soutien financier et des militants essentiels à son succès.

In 1899 the Trades Union Congress (TUC, established in 1868 as an annual conference of trade unions but with an executive which could take action in line with the conference’s decisions) voted The Labour Representation Committee (LRC), formed in 1900, following the TUC’s 1899 resolution, went wider than trade unions affiliated to the TUC.

The inaugural conference held in Faringdon Street, London, on 27 and 28 February 1900, was attended by representatives of 66 trade unions, the Midland Counties Trades Federation, and three socialist societies (the ILP, the SDF and the Fabian Society, which had been founded in 1884 and for 1899 gave its membership as 861).

Although seven of the 29 MPs were ILP sponsored, many more were also ILP members as well as trade unionists. In the final vote for the first chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party Keir Hardie beat David Shackleton by one vote.

The post rotated and after Hardie, 1906-8, the next two chairmen were trade unionists, Arthur Henderson, 1909-10 and George Barnes (1859-1940), 1910-11, before James Ramsay Mac Donald, 1911-14.

By the late nineteenth century trade unionism was strong among skilled workers, was established in some counties with mining and, with the of 1888-90, trade unionism flourished among the unskilled (before weakening substantially by the mid-1890s).

In contrast with Germany where the SPD was huge before trade unionism expanded rapidly in the later 1890s, in Britain the socialists were small in number and fragmented, dwarfed by the trade unions [see Table 1].

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