Satnam Virdee

Chartism and the multi-ethnic proletariat

Chartists.

A short history on the influence of William Cuffay, a black tailor, and Irish Catholic workers in the Chartist movement and how the British ruling class used racism to divide an increasingly multi-ethnic working class.

Racists, Reds and the Revolt on the Clyde, 1919

Black British sailors, 1919.

The story of a race riot that broke out in Glasgow, during the height of Red Clydeside militancy, when around 30 black sailors were chased out of the hiring yard by a mob of white sailors. Yet, rather than a spontaneous outburst of hatred, it was actually the culmination of nationalist and anti-migrant politics promoted within working-class organisations (such as the Independent Labour Party and the British Seafarers's Union) both before and even after the events.

Socialist antisemitism and its discontents in England, 1884–98

Satnam Virdee's essay exploring the relationship between English socialists and migrant Jews amid the new unionism of the late nineteenth century.

Organising the Unorganised: 'Race', Poor Work and Trade Unions

Burnsall Strike

John Wrench and Satnam Virdee discuss the relationship between mostly South Asian women workers at Heathrow and Burnsall (Smethwick), their relationships with the TGWU and GMB trade unions, and the role of non-union groups such as the Indian Workers Association and London Support Group. They also discuss racism and reactions to it in British trade unions more generally.