Volume 58 part 3 (August 2013)
Akin Sefer. From Class Solidarity to Revolution: The Radicalization of Arsenal Workers in the Late Ottoman Empire.
This article introduces a bottom-up perspective to the history of the Revolution of 1908 in the Ottoman Empire by focusing on the experiences of workers in the Imperial Naval Arsenal (Tersâne-i Âmire) in Istanbul. Drawing mainly on primary documents, the article explores, from a class-formation perspective, the struggles and relations of Arsenal workers from the second half of the nineteenth century until the revolution. The Arsenal workers' involvement in the revolution was rooted in their class solidarity, which was revealed in a number of ways throughout this period. The workers' immediate embrace of the revolution was spurred by their radicalization against the state; such radicalization stemmed from the state's failure to solve the workers' persistent economic problems, and its attempts to discharge them and replace them with military labor. The case of the Arsenal workers thus points to the role of working-class discontent in the history of the revolution, a dimension that has thus far been only minimally addressed in Ottoman historiography.
Kevin Morgan. Class Cohesion and Trade-Union Internationalism: Fred Bramley, the British TUC, and the Anglo-Russian Advisory Council.
A prevailing image of the British trade-union movement is that it was insular and slow-moving. The Anglo-Russian Advisory Council of the mid-1920s is an episode apparently difficult to reconcile with this view. In the absence to date of any fully adequate explanation of its gestation, this article approaches the issue biographically, through the TUC's first full-time secretary, Fred Bramley (1874–1925). Themes emerging strongly from Bramley's longer history as a labour activist are, first, a pronouncedly latitudinarian conception of the Labour movement and, second, a forthright labour internationalism deeply rooted in Bramley's trade-union experience. In combining these commitments in the form of an inclusive trade-union internationalism, Bramley in 1924–1925 had the indispensable support of the TUC chairman, A.A. Purcell, who, like him, was a former organizer in the small but militantly internationalist Furnishing Trades' Association. With Bramley's early death and Purcell's marginalization, the Anglo-Russian Committee was to remain a largely anomalous episode in the interwar history of the TUC.
Steven Parfitt. Brotherhood From a Distance: Americanization and the Internationalism of the Knights of Labor.
The Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor was the largest American labour organization of the nineteenth century. But while scholars have charted its history in North America they have largely failed to explore the Order's history elsewhere, even though the organization also boasted members in Europe, Australasia, and Africa. This article is designed as part of a wider "transnationalization" of American labour history, and analyses the reasons that drove the Order's leaders towards their international growth. The leaders of the Knights of Labor sent organizers around the world not only because of their attachment to the idea of Universal Brotherhood, but also as a way to limit immigration to the United States. This synthesis of seemingly incompatible ideas reflected their desire to "Americanize" the rest of the world, by protecting living standards at home, raising them elsewhere to American standards, and exporting American-style republican institutions abroad.
Bill Freund. Labour Studies and Labour History in South Africa: Perspectives from the Apartheid Era and After.
This article attempts to introduce readers to the impressive and influential historical and contemporary literature on South African labour. A literature with some earlier antecedents effectively applied classic sociological and historical themes to the specific conditions of South African political and economic development. Research on the phase of politicized and militant white worker action ties up with research into the international pre-World War I labour movement. The strength of this literature reflected the insurgent labour movement linked to political struggle against apartheid before 1990. After this review, the second half of the paper tries to consider and contextualize the challenging post-apartheid labour situation together with its political aspects. With the successful conclusion of the anti-apartheid struggle, students of the labour movement, as well as of South African society, have become more aware of the distance between establishing a liberal democracy and actually changing society itself in a direction leading towards less inequality and an improved life for those at the bottom of society, or even the broad mass of the population. As recent literature reveals, the development of post-apartheid South Africa has been a differential and problematic experience for labour.