manufacturing and materials

Folke Fridell: Textile Mill Worker, Anarcho-syndicalist, Proletarian Writer

Folke Fridell, photographed at the Arbetaren offices

Work. A contested word, loaded with millions of synonyms and associations. Hate/love. But for the author Folke Fridell (1905-1984) there was no doubt: there is no intrinsic value to be found in work. It is not a source of pride. During his life he waged a constant war, against work, against the machines, against the bosses, but perhaps also, in his individuality, against his co-workers too.

The matchgirls strike, 1888 - John Simkin

Annie Besant with the strike committee

A short account of the successful strike in 1888 by thousands of unorganised female workers at the Bryant & May match factory in London.

The gang system in Coventry - Reg Wright

Analysis of the workplace "gang system" as it functions in Coventry, and its collectivist nature.

Before the 'unity' of Grunwick: 40 years since the Imperial Typewriters strike - Evan Smith

Imperial Typewriters strikers, 1974

Article written 40 years on about the strike of predominantly East African Asian women in Leicester, with information about the relationships of the unions and the left to the strikers.

The Imperial Typewriters strike, 1974 - Ron Ramdin

Police guard Imperial Typewriters from a strike March, August 1974

An account of the three-month strike by hundreds of mostly East African Asian women workers at the Imperial Typewriters plant in Leicester, England. Although unsuccessful, it was a key moment in galvanising Asian working class resistance in the UK.

Beyond White City - Some Snap-Shots on West London Workers' History

Summary of west London workers' history from 1920s to today, with focus on migrant workers strikes in the 1970s.

1950: report from Cleveland metalworkers union calling on the IWW to comply with Taft-Hartley

A 1950 report from a metalworkers union based in Cleveland affiliated with the IWW, advocating that the organization comply with the anti-Communist provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act. The union eventually left the IWW over this issue.

The Factory Hell: Eleanor Marx

Pamphlet describing working conditions in 19th century mills and factories in Britain and the futility of reforms to deal with these abuses.

"China on Strike" book talks, San Francisco Bay Area, 6-7 April 2016

China on Strike book cover

China on Strike is the first English-language book that provides an intimate and revealing window into the lives of workers organizing in China’s most profitable factories -- supplying Apple, Nike, Hewlett Packard, and other multinationals. This book has dozens of interviews with Chinese workers, documenting the processes of migration, changing employment relations, worker culture, and other transformations related to China’s explosive growth.

The Bridport wildcat strike, 1912 - Steven Johns

The Bridport wildcat strikers

A very brief account of the wildcat strike of women workers in Bridport, Dorset.