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   Back to London declines as a whaling port
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The emblem of the Gasworkers' Union commemorating the winning of the 8-hour day in 1889.

The emblem of the Gasworkers' Union commemorating the winning of the 8-hour day in 1889.
The emblem of the Gasworkers' Union.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: H4691
Description: In March 1889, workers from the Beckton Gas Works were laid off. This caused gasworkers all over London to protest. One of the speakers at a protest meeting, Will Thorne, suggested that the gasworkers form their own union to protect themselves from the power of their employers. He helped to form the National Union of Gasworkers. His words at the meeting were: 'It is easy to break one stick, but when fifty sticks are together in one bundle it is a much more difficult job. The way you have been treated in your work for many years is a scandalous, brutal, and inhuman. I pledge my word that, if you will stand firm and don't waver, within six months we will claim and win the eight-hour day, a six-day week and the abolition of the present slave-driving methods in vogue not only at the Beckton Gas Works, but all over the country'. (Quoted from the National Union of Gasworkers website).
Creator: Unknown
Date: c. 1890
Credit line: People's History Museum, Manchester
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National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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