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Title: Engineering workers and the rise of Labour in Coventry 1914-1939
Author: Carr, Francis W.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3520 946X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1978
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This thesis is concerned with Coventry in the period 1914 to 1939. It is a study of the developments in the city's labour movement in this period. It concentrates on the fortunes of engineering trade unions, the Labour Party, the Co-operative movement, and the Communist Party. The aim of the thesis is to explain the way the labour movement changed in these years, and to draw attention to the shifts in working class consciousbess that took place. Although most of the thesis covers the period 1914 - 1939 there is an introductory survey that covers the development of large scale engineering in Coventry, and the growth of the engineering unions and the Labour Party before the First World War. The thesis then follows the progress of the unions during the war, and. explains the effect of the main war-time strikes. The years after the war, up to 1922, are dealt with in detail, as these were years of political and industrial upheaval. The lockout of the engineering unions in 1922 is also dealt with in detail, and the thesis looks at the effect of the lockout on the AEU in particular. Then the position of the unions in the period of set-backs and defeats after 1922 is covered, as is their eventual recovery in the 1930's. A study is made of the way the recovery took place, and the differences between the resurgent trade unionism and the earlier unionism of the war and the early 1920's are shown. The thesis also looks at the effect of the General Strike on Coventry. Throughout the thesis, an attempt is made to explain the changing relationship between the Labour Party and the trade unions, and account for the gradual emergence of the Labour Party as the majority party in the city. The victory of the Labour Party in the local elections is considered, and an assessment of Labou& period of rule between 1937 and 1939 is given. The role of the Communist Party in organising the unemployed in the post-war years, and its involvement in the unions, and particularly the recovery of the unions, is studied. The thesis also covers the political life of Coventry in this period; and therefore deals with the Conservative and Liberal Parties and the coalition they formed against the Labour Party. It attempts to explain the many different ways in which these parties exercised social and political leadership in Coventry. The work of the City Council in the fields of housing and education is studied, and emphesis given to the differences in policy between the Labour Party and the other political parties, and the impact of Council policies on working class people. The role of the Engineering Employers' Association is studied, and the changes in its relations with the unions throughout this period. Attenion is also given to its relations with the local political parties, and its influence on Coventry in general. The internal discussion that took place within the Coventry Co-operative Society in the 1920's is assessed, as is its strengthening links with the Labour Party. The thesis examines the way the development of mass production in the engineering industry changed jobs and changed the role of the unions in the factories. The response of trade union shop stewards to changix conditions is examined, both in the period of unrest during and after the First World War, and in the second part of the 1930's. Technological change in the period is only dealt with in its effects on employment, though a broad outline of economic change is given.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor