Event Details

Unity is Strength: 120 Years of the General Federation of Trade Unions

30 March 2019

Unity is Strength: 120 Years of the General Federation of Trade Unions

Saturday 30 March 2019, Mechanics Institute, Manchester

2019 will mark the 120th anniversary of the formation of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU). As Alice Prochaska observed the creation of the GFTU was an expression of the “highest and most visionary hopes of many leading trade unionists in Great Britain..[for an] instrument of unity” which might transcend sectional interests. Created primarily to organise a strike fund which could be drawn upon by affiliated trade unions, the GFTU also found itself involved in discussions about general unionism, industry amalgamations and the need for separate labour political representation. Additionally, the GFTU was the main body conducting relations with trade unions internationally until 1914. After the First World War the GFTU increasingly became a federation of the smaller craft and industry unions. Currently the GFTU supports a broad range of affiliates from sport to music, furniture makers to educational psychologists. The GFTU has always had a strong educational ethos and plays an important role assisting unions in building a new generation of skilled leaders, engaging young workers in new ways and passing on knowledge of the history of the labour movement.

Speakers to include: Dr Alice Prochaska (former Principal of Somerville College) Professor Kevin Morgan (University of Manchester) Professor Geert Van Goethem (Ghent University Doug Nicholls (General Secretary of the General Federation of Trade Unions)

Call for papers available here: http://sslh.org.uk/news-post/2018-06-13-call-for-papers-unity-is-strength-120-years-of-the-general-federation-of-trade-unions.

Deadline for proposals: 14 December 2018

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Studies in Labour History book series

Labour and the Caucus from the Studies in Labour History series

Studies in Labour History provides reassessments of broad themes along with more detailed studies arising from the latest research in the field of labour and working-class history, both in Britain and throughout the world.

It includes studies of labour organizations, including international ones, where there is a need for new research or modern reassessment. It is also its objective to extend the breadth of labour history’s gaze beyond conventionally organized workers

‘…a series which will undoubtedly become an important force in re-invigorating the study of Labour History.’ English Historical Review