Garment workers on strike, New York City circa 1913
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Early 19th century workplace militancy manifested in the Luddite riots, when unemployed workers destroyed labour saving machines.
William Benbow pictured in Punch in 1848
Poster issued by the London Trades Council, advertising a demonstration held on 2 June 1873
The 1905 general strike in Tampere, Grand Duchy of Finland
Trade union demonstrators held at bay by soldiers during the 1912 Lawrence textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts
1926 United Kingdom general strike
Eight-hour day march circa 1900, outside Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne
Spanish general strike of 1988
Costa Rican agricultural unions demonstration, January 2011
General strike in Catalonia, 21 February 2019
2011 National Trade Union Council (Zenrokyo) May Day march, Tokyo
On 26 November 2020, a nationwide general strike of 250 million people, as per trade unions claim, took place in support of Indian farmers' protests.
Workers on strike in Oslo, Norway, 2012
Public sector workers in Leeds striking over pension changes by the government in November 2011
Child labourers in an Indiana glass works. Labor unions have an objective interest in combating child labour.
Cesar Chavez speaking at a 1974 United Farm Workers rally in Delano, California. The UFW during Chavez's tenure was committed to restricting immigration.
The Great Southwest Railroad Strike of 1886 was a trade union strike involving more than 200,000 workers.
A rally of the trade union UNISON in Oxford during a strike on 28 March 2006

A General Strike or Solidarity Strike was when various trade unions would go on strike sympathetically to help another trade union.

- General strike

Workplace militancy had also manifested itself as Luddism and had been prominent in struggles such as the 1820 Rising in Scotland, in which 60,000 workers went on a general strike, which was soon crushed.

- Trade union
Garment workers on strike, New York City circa 1913

3 related topics

Alpha

A Roberts loom in a weaving shed in 1835.

Industrial Revolution

The transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840.

The transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840.

A Roberts loom in a weaving shed in 1835.
Handloom weaving in 1747, from William Hogarth's Industry and Idleness
European colonial empires at the start of the Industrial Revolution, superimposed upon modern political boundaries.
A weaver in Nürnberg, c. 1524
A model of the spinning jenny in a museum in Wuppertal. Invented by James Hargreaves in 1764, the spinning jenny was one of the innovations that started the revolution.
The only surviving example of a spinning mule built by the inventor Samuel Crompton. The mule produced high-quality thread with minimal labour. Bolton Museum, Greater Manchester
The interior of Marshall's Temple Works in Leeds, West Yorkshire
Lombe's Mill site today, rebuilt as Derby Silk Mill
The reverberatory furnace could produce cast iron using mined coal. The burning coal remained separate from the iron and so did not contaminate the iron with impurities like sulfur and silica. This opened the way to increased iron production.
The Iron Bridge, Shropshire, England, the world's first bridge constructed of iron opened in 1781.
Horizontal (lower) and vertical (upper) cross-sections of a single puddling furnace. A. Fireplace grate; B. Firebricks; C. Cross binders; D. Fireplace; E. Work door; F. Hearth; G. Cast iron retaining plates; H. Bridge wall
A Watt steam engine. James Watt transformed the steam engine from a reciprocating motion that was used for pumping to a rotating motion suited to industrial applications. Watt and others significantly improved the efficiency of the steam engine.
Newcomen's steam-powered atmospheric engine was the first practical piston steam engine. Subsequent steam engines were to power the Industrial Revolution.
Maudslay's famous early screw-cutting lathes of circa 1797 and 1800
The Middletown milling machine of c. 1818, associated with Robert Johnson and Simeon North
The Thames Tunnel (opened 1843).
Cement was used in the world's first underwater tunnel.
The Crystal Palace housed the Great Exhibition of 1851
The Bridgewater Canal, famous because of its commercial success, crossing the Manchester Ship Canal, one of the last canals to be built.
Construction of the first macadam road in the United States (1823). In the foreground, workers are breaking stones "so as not to exceed 6 ounces in weight or to pass a two-inch ring".
Painting depicting the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, the first inter-city railway in the world and which spawned Railway Mania due to its success.
Wedgwood tea and coffee service
Winchester High Street, 1853. The number of High Streets (the primary street for retail in Britain) in towns and cities rapidly grew in the 18th century.
The Black Country in England, west of Birmingham
Manchester, England ("Cottonopolis"), pictured in 1840, showing the mass of factory chimneys
A young "drawer" pulling a coal tub along a mine gallery. In Britain, laws passed in 1842 and 1844 improved mine working conditions.
Luddites smashing a power loom in 1812
Levels of air pollution rose during the Industrial Revolution, sparking the first modern environmental laws to be passed in the mid-19th century.
Slater's Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Sächsische Maschinenfabrik in Chemnitz, Germany, 1868
Sir Henry Bessemer's Bessemer converter, the most important technique for making steel from the 1850s to the 1950s. Located in Sheffield (Steel City)
Regional GDP per capita changed very little for most of human history before the Industrial Revolution.
Interior of the London Coal Exchange, c. 1808.
European 17th-century colonial expansion, international trade, and creation of financial markets produced a new legal and financial environment, one which supported and enabled 18th-century industrial growth.
As the Industrial Revolution developed British manufactured output surged ahead of other economies.
William Bell Scott Iron and Coal, 1855–60
William and Mary Presenting the Cap of Liberty to Europe, 1716, Sir James Thornhill. Enthroned in heaven with the Virtues behind them are the royals William III and Mary II who had taken the throne after the Glorious Revolution and signed the English Bill of Rights of 1689. William tramples on arbitrary power and hands the red cap of liberty to Europe where, unlike Britain, absolute monarchy stayed the normal form of power execution. Below William is the French king Louis XIV.
A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery by Joseph Wright of Derby (c. 1766). Informal philosophical societies spread scientific advances
A primitive lifestyle living outside the Industrial Revolution
A dog forced to eat trash due to pollution, the Industrial Revolution has forced animals into harsh environments most are unable to survive in, leading to starvation and eventual extinction

The Industrial Revolution concentrated labour into mills, factories, and mines, thus facilitating the organisation of combinations or trade unions to help advance the interests of working people.

In 1842, a general strike involving cotton workers and colliers was organised through the Chartist movement which stopped production across Great Britain.

Constitution of the United States

Taft–Hartley Act

Constitution of the United States

The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, better known as the Taft–Hartley Act, is a United States federal law that restricts the activities and power of labor unions.

Among the practices prohibited by the Taft–Hartley act are jurisdictional strikes, wildcat strikes, solidarity or political strikes, secondary boycotts, secondary and mass picketing, closed shops, and monetary donations by unions to federal political campaigns.

Diagram published by the Industrial Workers of Great Britain explaining industrial unionism in terms of two opposing battle fronts

Industrial unionism

Diagram published by the Industrial Workers of Great Britain explaining industrial unionism in terms of two opposing battle fronts
A cartoon from the May, 1919 IWW periodical One Big Union, published in Revolutionary Radicalism, shows a worker (representing the working class) choosing between an AFL slogan (A Fair Day's Pay for a Fair Day's Work) and an IWW slogan (Abolition of the Wage System).
Anti-IWW cartoon from The American Employer, published 1913, with the Industrial Workers of the World organizing drive editorialized as "a volcano of hate stirred into active eruption at Akron, by alien hands, which pour into the crater the disturbing acids and alkalis of greed, class hatred and anarchy. From the mouth of the pit rise poisonous clouds of suspicion, malice and envy to pollute the air, while from the cracked and breaking sides of the groaning mountain flow streams of lava of murder, anarchy and destruction, threatening to engulf in their path the fair cities and fertile farms of Ohio."
A cartoon from the September, 1919 IWW periodical One Big Union, published in Revolutionary Radicalism (a government publication), shows a worker swimming through shark-infested waters. The shark is labeled capitalism, the boat is industrial unionism, the life buoy is IWW, and the harpoon is direct action.

Industrial unionism is a trade union organizing method through which all workers in the same industry are organized into the same union—regardless of skill or trade—thus giving workers in one industry, or in all industries, more leverage in bargaining and in strike situations.

The IWW sought to unite the entire working class into One Big Union which would struggle for improved working conditions and wages in the short term, while working to ultimately overthrow capitalism through a general strike, after which the members of the union would manage production.