Sunday, August 28, 2011

First Working Class Organisation

One of the main slogans of the strike struggles in the thirties was the demand for a 10 hour working day. The workers succeeded in achieving it in many cities of the mid-Atlantic states  ( for instance, in Philadelphia by a successful general strike in 1835, etc). A common feature of all strikes in the period under review, wherever they might occur, was that the strikers put forward mainly economic demands; the establishment of a minimum wage or a wage rise, timely payment of wages etc.
In the late eighteenth and the early 19th century the broad involvement of the English proletariat in the movement for radical democratic reforms became an important aspect of its growing political activity.The idea of the Great French Revolution of the late eighteenth century (1789) exerted a tremendous influence on England's working class.
In the late 18th and the early 19th century first labour unions formed in the United States (in 1792 the unions of hired shoe-makers in Philadelphia, of tailors in Baltimore, of printers in New York, in 1796 of New York furniture-makers, in 1803 of New York in ship wrights etc)  and in France  ( in 1790 Persian printers Club, etc). Later trade unions were formed in other European countries.
In England the trade unions throughout the 18th century were often persecuted on the basis of broad interpretation of the medieval laws on 'conspiracies', and on individual parliamentary statutes referring to associations within specified trades. In fact dozens of illegal or semi-legal organisations of the workers existed at that time.