A History of the Liverpool Waterfront 1850-1890: The Struggle for
Organisation is a detailed and comprehensive picture of the port of
Liverpool in the nineteenth century. This fascinating book
discloses the history of dock and maritime labour and the
persistent efforts of Merseyside workers to achieve union
organisation on the waterfront and aboard the fleets of vessels
which packed the port dockland and approaches with forests of masts
in the years before steam ousted the wind jammer and became
supreme. It looks at the much neglected area of 'general strikes'
applied not to a national turn out as commonly understood, but to
joint regional united action across trades and armies of allegedly
unskilled labour. In so doing, it challenges notions of insular
'trade' sectionalism. Based on the experience of Liverpool workers
of all descriptions, particularly those of the marine and
waterfront, A History of the Liverpool Waterfront 1850-1890: The
Struggle for Organisation challenges long established labour
history theories of 'New Unionism' and the alleged inability of
unskilled labouring classes to organise themselves. The book breaks
new ground in understanding the way in which workers organised and
built self reliance; in essence, 'the union' being the act of
combination itself. Workers united in a common cause whether
temporary or as we see in the case of some examples, surviving from
the earliest times to their absorption into modern unions in
existence today. A History of the Liverpool Waterfront 1850-1890:
The Struggle for Organisation heaves with the concentrated effort
of human toil both at work and within the community to stand
together in a common cause and self defence.
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