Ten days in the class war: Merseyside and the 1926 general strike

Battleships on the Mersey, riots in Wirral, and almost everyone refusing to work! Adam Ford takes a look at the role played by Merseysiders in the biggest strike the UK has ever seen, and launches a new internet archive about those ten incredible days.

It was just eighty years ago - within living memory - and it took place on the streets where we walk every day, but it seems like a different world. Merseyside came to an almost total standstill as workers downed tools and joined together to fight against the rich and the government that represented them.

UK workplace news roundup, August 2010

Recent industrial news from the UK, including transport strikes in Liverpool, walkouts at West Lothian Council and Southampton libraries, and strike ballots for London firefighters, ambulance drivers, and tube staff.

Bin workers strike at West Lothian council

Refuse workers at West Lothian Council have taken strike action over a pay cut being imposed as part of the downgrading of their jobs.

All refuse workers face a job downgrade which will amount to a cut of at least £2,800 a year. The first 24-hour strike took place on Friday the 27th of August, and was sanctioned by the GMB union.

Liverpool dockers strike photo gallery, 1995

Photographs from the Mersey docks dispute of 1995-6.

Work to rule starts to bite at Criminal Records Bureau

Industrial action by 450 workers at the Criminal Records Bureau in Liverpool is causing major backlogs in work according to managers.

It is understood that a report prepared for Home Office officials after the first week of a work-to-rule describes significant arrears in work which could considerably delay prospective nurses, teachers and social workers obtaining the necessary clearance to work with children and vulnerable adults.

The action has hit:

Ladbrokes staff strike against pay offer

Staff at a Ladbrokes betting call centre on Merseyside are staging a 24-hour walkout in a row over pay.

The union Usdaw said hundreds of workers at the site in Aintree were set to strike from 0500 BST on Sunday. It said staff were unhappy after being offered what it said was a below-inflation pay rise of 3%.

Kavanagh, Mat, 1876-1954

Mat Kavanagh

A short biography of Mat Kavanagh, Liverpool-Irish class struggle anarchist.

“For the young anarchists of the 30s, of whom I was one, and right until the 50s, Mat was our link with the traditional working class Anarchism of the past and our mentor as no other” - Albert Meltzer

Bus workers wildcat in Liverpool

More than 100 bus drivers staged an unofficial strike at Arriva’s Speke depot yesterday (May 7th) hitting hundreds of services.

At 6am when the wildcat strike was called, the entire 120-strong bus fleet at the Shaw Road depot was grounded. Drivers returned to work at 10.30am and normal services were resumed on all routes by lunchtime.

1911: Liverpool general transport strike

Strikers gathered at St Georges Hall

A short history of the strike movement that took hold of Liverpool during the summer of 1911. Culminating in a massive general strike of all transport workers, the movement displayed some of the most extraordinary scenes of class solidarity seen in Britain.

The strike movement of Liverpool occurred during the great period of industrial unrest that was to grip Britain between 1910 and the outbreak of the First World War. Beginning with a walk-out of seamen, the strike soon snowballed and went on to reach epic proportions, involving up to 70,000 people.

Liverpool airport workers vote for strike

Liverpool John Lennon Airport workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike after refusing a pay offer.

If they go ahead with the walk-out it will shut down the airport. More than 80% of staff, including firefighters, engineers, airside safety and air traffic control staff, have backed a ballot calling for industrial action.

Liverpool museum staff on fourth day of strikes

250 staff at six Liverpool museums staged their fourth one-day strike in three months today.

The dispute is over pay offer which staff describe as being at half the rate of inflation, and involves admin, conservation and other staff.

Staff at the National Gallery in London also staged strike action over pay in 2006.