Marxist. Trade Unionist. Socialist-feminist. Author. Poet. Speaker. Tutor. RMT ex-Exec. Workers' Liberty. Autie. Bi. PUFC fan.

Trade union history

Poplar: the Borough that Fought Back and Won

Submitted by Janine on 3 March 2022 at 13:15

… and why it matters today

By Janine Booth, published in RMT News.

The two biggest employers in the east London borough of Poplar one hundred years were the railways and the docks. Our forerunner unions had plenty of members there. Their jobs involved long hours and low pay, but they were unionised, so they were fighting for, and winning, improvements.

'A Terrible Betrayal': the centenary of 'Black Friday'

Submitted by Janine on 4 April 2021 at 10:52

Published in Solidarity 588, 14 April 2021

Long before ‘Black Friday’ became the name for the first day of the Christmas shopping season, it was the name that the labour movement gave to the day on which trade union leaders inflicted a defeat on their own movement. It happened exactly one hundred years ago, on 15 April 1921.

Bristol's Brilliant Bus Boycott (1963)

Submitted by Janine on 10 October 2020 at 10:04

Back before barring blacks became banned
Bristol buses blocked brown-skinned blokes becoming buscrew

But better Bristolians batted back
bit the bullet and boycotted the buses

Bent-backed, booted bipeds bicycled,
as bitter brushes blazed between bile and benevolence

Bands of brave, belligerent banner-bearers
branded the ban biased, barbarous balderdash

1920 Blind March: a centenary to celebrate

Submitted by Janine on 10 October 2020 at 18:10

This article was published in RMT News, September 2020.

By Janine Booth, Chair of RMT National Disabled Members’ Advisory Committee

One hundred years ago, two hundred and fifty blind people from across the UK marched from Newport, Manchester and Leeds to London in protest at poverty and poor working conditions.