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   Back to London declines as a whaling port
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Gasworkers meeting on Peckham Rye.

Gasworkers meeting on Peckham Rye.
Gasworkers meeting during the 1889 dispute.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: H4470
Description: In March 1889 workers from the Beckton Gas Works were laid off. In response, gasworkers from all over the capital held protest meetings. One of the speakers at these meetings, Will Thorne (1857-1946), suggested that the workers establish their own union (the National Union of Gasworkers & General Labourers) to protect themselves. After the formation of the union,Thorne began negotiations with the owners of the Beckton and Greenwich gasworks. Within a few weeks he had successfully negotiated an eight-hour day in the industry.
Creator: Illustrated London News
Date: 14 December 1889
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London
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National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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