Miners, Dockers and Builders in a period of militancy

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This is the first of our Class Struggles, the State and Film series. These four sessions set out to explore the ways in which the state engages in industrial conflict. Each will start with open with a selection of films about a given industrial struggle as the basis for further discussion.

The series opens with struggles from the 1970s, a period of industrial militancy in face of pressures from employers in search of maintaining their profitability either by driving down wages and working conditions or by mass redundancy. The first film shows how workers in shipbuilding prevented the closure of their industry using the new tactic of the ‘work-in’. Attempts to reduce wages in the mining industry led to two major strikes by the NUM in 1972 and 1974 as shown in the second film. The 1974 strike played a major part in toppling the Tory (Heath) government. The next film addresses issues of industrial restructuring. The link between employers’ interests emerges as central along with the role of the police and courts. Industrial struggle leads to the dockers’ release. But industrial restructuring continues apace. The final film also shows the direct links between the state and the use of force (the police and Criminal Justice System) to undermine trade union organizational power in the construction industry. Builders made gains. But the Shrewsbury pickets were jailed under a Conservative government, only to serve even more of their prison terms under the succeeding Labour government.




May 8th, 2019 7:00 PM   through   8:30 PM
37a Clerkenwell Green
United Kingdom
Phone: 02072531485
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