Oral Labour History and its value for trade unions- 16 May 2015, London

Posted on 20/04/2015 by


Oral Labour History and its value for trade unions

Britain at Work (B@W) 1945-95 in association with: British Universities Industrial Relations (BUIRA) IR History Group and Oral History Society (OHS)


Saturday 16 May 2015

Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate (nearest tube: Liverpool Street)

Click on this hyperlink for full location details: http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/content.aspx?CategoryID=980

One again Britain at Work(B@W) is organising an Oral Labour History Day at the Bishopsgate Institute in London, this time on Saturday 16 May. It will be similar to those organised over the last two years, but will be focussed on the significance of oral history for trade unions, including for trade union education and activity such as blacklisting and its significance for union activity. The day will begin with an opening address, followed by round table introductions on projects in which symposium participants are involved and their interest in oral labour history, and – after lunch – our afternoon focus on backlisting. All those engaged in or with an interest in oral labour history, and particularly trade union members, are welcome to participate.

B@W is an initiative to capture the memories of people at work between 1945-1995. Working life as experienced during the half-century 1945-1995 was marked by extreme diversity and change and by the growth of trade union organisation and influence to a high point in the mid-1970s. The trade union movement injected a strong democratic current into British workplaces, to which management responded in different ways, as evident from the significant conflicts between unions and employers, associated with the problems of technological change, de-industrialisation and new union legislation.

If you would like to attend, please contact Michael Gold (m.gold@rhul.ac.uk) or Linda Clarke (clarkel@wmin.ac.uk)



Coffee/ tea 10.30am

11.00am: Welcome and introduction: Stefan Dickers, Bishopsgate Institute

11.15 – 11.45 Opening address: The value of oral history for trade unions:

11.45 – 12.00 Michael Gold – Oral Labour History – followed by:

12.00 – 1.00pm B@W updates: Round table introductions: Five minutes from everyone (if they wish), saying who they are, the project(s) they are involved in and their interest in oral labour history

1.00 – 1.45pm lunch

1.45 – 2.30      Session 1: Trade union activity: the example of blacklisting:

Dave Smith (Blacklisting support group), Ian Bradley (Unite), Bob Carnegie

2.30 – 3.15      Session 2: Trade union education

                        Ruth Percy (Ruskin College) and Jonathan Jeffries (CONEL)

3.15 – 3.30      Break

3.30 – 4.15      Session 3: What can be done

Welsh factory women’s project: Rosemary Scadden

4.15 – 4.30      Conclusions

4.30 – 5.00      Irish documentary on cross transnational social dumping practices of the company Atlanco Rimec

5.00     Close