PortCities London

Labour unrest in the port after 1889

The National Dock Labour Scheme and labour relations after 1945

A new register

Dock gang at the King George V Dock.
View full size imageDockers at the King George V Dock, c. 1957. © NMM

Despite the defeat of 1926, the dockers’ trade union eventually recovered. In 1947 the National Dock Labour Scheme (NDLS) started a Register in order to 'de-casualize' work.

The Register was based on Bevin’s wartime registration scheme for dockworkers. The NDLS became responsible for the registration, allocation, payment, training and medical care of dockworkers.

A modified version of the ‘call-on’ did, however, remain. A National Dock Labour Board was also set up consisting of 50% union and 50% employer representatives. It gave the unions substantial control over recruitment and dismissals.

Disputes continue

Striking seamen from the National Union Seamen.
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