Tom Brown

What’s Wrong with the Unions? A Syndicalist Answer

A look from the 1950s at the limitations of Trade Unions, and a recommendation of a syndicalist approach to organising.

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 5, #02 (32, February 1964)

Volume 5, Issue 2 of Direct Action, with articles on a Labour-backed unemployment demo, construction disputes at St Paul's cathedral, direct action against an eviction in Kent, the Panama canal, an ITV documentary about Franco's Spain, the Bolivian miners, repression against Irish farmers, class definitions and "white collar" workers, a book on the historical Jesus, a call for women's liberation from exiled members of the Mujeres Libres, fascists in Southall, industrial news including a steel dispute in Port Talbot, the Post Office exploiting Christmas temps, the anti-union Freedom Group plotting to break bus strikes, and more.

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 5, #01 (31, January 1964)

Volume 5, Issue 1 of Direct Action, with articles on Committee of 100 members being imprisoned, a strike by construction workers at St. Paul's Cathedral, direct action against a dam in Italy, the right-wing anti-union Freedom Group, a review of a book about Franco's Spain, a review of an IWMA (now IWA) conference, the JFK assassination, the Lincoln myth, and the civil rights movement, Bolivian miners, housing direct action in Tunbridge Wells, a Goya exhibition, repression in Morocco, medical care in Alberta, industrial news including London bus drivers and more.

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 2, #03 (March 1962)

Volume 2, Issue 3 of Direct Action, with articles on calls for a general strike against a wage freeze, Guyana's supposedly anticolonial rulers calling on British imperial support, apprenticeships, a review of a Solidarity pamphet, police attacks on a demonstration against the far-right OAS in France, and a Committee of 100 court case.

Into battle with the bazooka bands (Pages of Labour history)

An excellent personal account of the 1926 miners' lockout in County Durham

School for Syndicalism

An eyewitness account of the shop stewards' movement on Tyneside during the first world war.

Nationalisation and the new boss class - Tom Brown

A pamphlet by Tom Brown discussing nationalisation, its theoretical roots and whether it is a working-class gain (1958).

Trade unionism or syndicalism? – Tom Brown

A 1942 pamphlet by Tom Brown on trade unions, why they let us down, and why syndicalism is the best method for building a society of workers' control. It has been transcribed here with the typos and stylistic inconsistencies kept intact.

Lenin and workers' control - Tom Brown

A pamphlet by Tom Brown of the Syndicalist Workers' Federation (an early predecessor to today's Solidarity Federation) on Lenin and his contempt for workers' self-organisation. Published in the 1960s, it has been transcribed here with one copy's typos and stylistic inconsistencies kept intact.

Newcastle fights the fascists

Mosley with his Blackshirt supporters, 1930s

Account of the 1934 routing of fascists in Newcastle, England, by Albert Meltzer and Tom Brown.