1889 was a watershed in the history of British trade unionism. With the formation of the Gaworkers' Union under Will Thorne's leadership, general workers joined a trade union in large number for the first time. Thorne worked with some of the most fascinating political and trade union figures of the period - Ben Tillett, Eleanor Marx, Tom Mann and John Burns among them - all of who here are the subject of splendid pen portraits.
Under Throne's astute and far-sighted leadership, the forerunner of today's GMB acheived an eight-hour day for its members working in the particularly dangerous gasworks of Victorian England. The union rapdily broadened out to organise general workers in a variety of industries and was one of the first to welcome women into its ranks.
This lavishly illustrated centenary account of the birth of the New Unionism brings to life one of the most important moments in labour history through the remarkable lives of those involved.
- From the back cover