PortCities London

The Great Dock Strike of 1889

Effects of the strike
 

A new union

Coat of arms of the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourers' Union
View full size imageCoat of arms of the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourers' Union. © NMM

After the successful strike, the dockers formed a new General Labourers' Union. Tillett was elected General Secretary and Tom Mann became the union's first President. In London alone, nearly 20,000 men joined this new union.

The success of the Dockers' Strike was a turning point in the history of trade unionism. Workers throughout the country, particularly the unskilled, gained a new confidence to organize themselves and carry out collective action. From 750,000 in 1888, trade union membership grew to 1.5 million by 1892 and to over 2 million by 1899.

Burns's view

John Burns
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