Power Regained 1920–1934

  • Eric Wigham


Hopes of a new era in industrial relations after the war were soon dispelled. Scarcely were the guns silenced before the great struggles of the five pre-war years were resumed where they had been left off. There were big strikes in the coal and cotton industries and on the railways. The triple alliance of miners, railway workers and transport workers was reformed and involved in two national crises before it collapsed. The TUC set up a general council to co-ordinate industrial action. Labour mobilised to prevent war against the Soviet Union. In the boom period which lasted until the second half of 1920 the Government and employers were engaged in a holding action against massive and aggressive trade unions, convinced that little or nothing was being done to redeem wartime promises and stirred to a new militancy by the shop stewards’ movement and the impact of the Russian revolution. The number of working days lost through disputes in the five years from 1910 to 1914 averaged 16 million. During the war the average dropped to 4 million In the five post-war years it exceeded 35 million. Before the war, engineering was not in the front line. Now it was.


Trade Union Industrial Relation Labour Party General Council Engineering Union 
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Copyright information

© Engineering Employers’ Federation 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Wigham

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