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By W. Hamish Fraser

This new heritage of British alternate unionism deals the main concise and updated account of three hundred years of exchange union improvement, from the earliest documented makes an attempt at collective motion by way of operating humans within the eighteenth century via to the very various international of `New Unionism' and `New Labour'.

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It laid down that nothing done 'in contemplation and furtherance of a trade dispute' would be criminal unless the action itself was criminal, and it specifically permitted peaceful picketing. The Employers and Workmen Act, replacing the terminology of Master and Servant, gave employer and employee equality before the law in breach of contract cases. Both were now civil causes. The 1876 Trade Union Act Amendment Act also extended protection of funds to all trade unions, not just to those which otherwise would have been 'in restraint of trade'.

The hitherto only partially and intermittently organised railway workers, with the 50 A History of British Trade Unionism, 1700-1998 assistance of the Liberal brewer and railway director, Michael Bass, formed the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (an interesting anachronistic term which said much about industrial relations in the railways) in 1871 and a similar Scottish Society was formed in the following year.

They believed that co-operative workshops were a way of keeping the unemployed out of the labour market. Before the funds were decimated in the lock-out of 1851, £1 0 000 had been earmarked for the setting up of co-operative workshops in London. This was not some conversion to classical political economy, an acceptance of the immutable 'laws' of supply and demand as propagated in the numerous crude popularisations of John Stuart Mill's Principles of Political Economy. Trade unionists had long recognised that the longterm unemployed would always be tempted to accept a wage cut in order to find work and, therefore, it made sense to keep them out of the labour market, whether by finding alternative work for them or by providing the means for them to migrate.

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