1910 saw a renewed outbreak of industrial strife, as significant sections of the trade union rank-and-file began to express their frustration at the lack of progress made in their struggle for better working conditions and a new social order. Strikes reached levels not seen since the ‘new unionism’ upsurge of 1889-92. Workers unrest combined with clashes over Home Rule for Ireland, and the militant tactics of suffrage campaigners, which added to the problems of the ruling class. Confronted by these parallel rebellions the ruling class feared their convergence and some warned of the danger of revolution.
This pamphlet charts Bristol’s experience of industrial strife between 1910 and the outbreak of the First World War, in August 1914. Rather than focus on some of Bristol’s famous union leaders such as Ben Tillett and Earnest Bevin, this account scrutinises the events from the union rank-and-file perspective.