Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees aimed at agreements to regulate working salaries, working conditions and other aspects of workers' compensation and rights for workers. The interests of the employees are presented by representatives of a trade union to which the employees belong; the collective agreements reached by these negotiations set out wage scales, working hours, training and safety, grievance mechanisms, rights to participate in workplace or company affairs. The union may negotiate with a single employer or may negotiate with a group of businesses, depending on the country, to reach an industry-wide agreement. A collective agreement functions as a labour contract between an employer and one or more unions. Collective bargaining consists of the process of negotiation between representatives of a union and employers in respect of the terms and conditions of employment of employees, such as wages, hours of work, working conditions, grievance procedures, about the rights and responsibilities of trade unions.
The parties refer to the result of the negotiation as a collective bargaining agreement or as a collective employment agreement. The term "collective bargaining" was first used in 1891 by Beatrice Webb, a founder of the field of industrial relations in Britain, it refers to the sort of collective negotiations and agreements that had existed since the rise of trade unions during the 18th century. In the United States, the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 made it illegal for any employer to deny union rights to an employee; the issue of unionizing government employees in a public-sector trade union was much more controversial until the 1950s. In 1962 President John F. Kennedy issued an executive order granting federal employees the right to unionize. An issue of jurisdiction surfaced in National Labor Relations Board v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago when the Supreme Court held that the National Labor Relations Board could not assert jurisdiction over a church-operated school because such jurisdiction would violate the First Amendment establishment of freedom of religion and the separation of church of state.
The right to collectively bargain is recognized through international human rights conventions. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights identifies the ability to organize trade unions as a fundamental human right. Item 2 of the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work defines the "freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining" as an essential right of workers; the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 and several other conventions protect collective bargaining through the creation of international labour standards that discourage countries from violating workers' rights to associate and collectively bargain. In June 2007 the Supreme Court of Canada extensively reviewed the rationale for regarding collective bargaining as a human right. In the case of Facilities Subsector Bargaining Association v. British Columbia, the Court made the following observations: The right to bargain collectively with an employer enhances the human dignity and autonomy of workers by giving them the opportunity to influence the establishment of workplace rules and thereby gain some control over a major aspect of their lives, namely their work… Collective bargaining is not an instrument for pursuing external ends…rather is intrinsically valuable as an experience in self-government… Collective bargaining permits workers to achieve a form of workplace democracy and to ensure the rule of law in the workplace.
Workers gain a voice to influence the establishment of rules that control a major aspect of their lives. Union members and other workers covered by collective agreements get, on average, a wage markup over their nonunionized counterparts; such a markup is 5 to 10 percent in industrial countries. Unions tend to equalize the income distribution between skilled and unskilled workers; the welfare loss associated with unions is 0.2 to 0.5 of GDP, similar to monopolies in product markets. In Sweden the coverage of collective agreements is high despite the absence of legal mechanisms to extend agreements to whole industries. In 2016, 84% of all private sector employees were covered by collective agreements, 100% of public sector employees and in all 90%; this reflects the dominance of self-regulation over state regulation in Swedish industrial relations. In the United States, the National Labor Relations Act covers most collective agreements in the private sector; this act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate, spy on, harass, or terminate the employment of workers because of their union membership or to retaliate against them for engaging in organizing campaigns or other "concerted activities," to form company unions, or to refuse to engage in collective bargaining with the union that represents their employees.
It is illegal to require any employee to join a union as a condition of employment. Unions are able to secure safe work conditions and equitable pay for their labor. At a workplace where a majority of workers have voted for union representation, a committee of employees and union representatives negotiate a contract with the management regarding wages, hours and other terms and conditions of empl
Syndicalism is a radical current in the labor movement and was most active in the early 20th century. According to the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, it predominated the revolutionary left in the decade preceding World War I as Marxism was reformist at that time. Major syndicalist organizations included the General Confederation of Labor in France, the National Confederation of Labor in Spain, the Italian Syndicalist Union, the Free Workers' Union of Germany, the Argentine Regional Workers' Federation; the Industrial Workers of the World, the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union and the Canadian One Big Union, though they did not regard themselves as syndicalists, are considered by most historians to belong to this current. A number of syndicalist organizations were and still are to this day linked in the International Workers' Association; the term syndicalism has French origins. In French, a syndicat is a trade union a local union; the corresponding words in Spanish and Portuguese and Italian, are similar.
By extension, the French syndicalisme refers to trade unionism in general. The concept syndicalisme révolutionnaire or revolutionary syndicalism emerged in French socialist journals in 1903 and the French General Confederation of Labor came to use the term to describe its brand of unionism. Revolutionary syndicalism, or more syndicalism with the revolutionary implied, was adapted to a number of languages by unionists following the French model. Many scholars, including Ralph Darlington, Marcel van der Linden, Wayne Thorpe, apply the term syndicalism to a number of organizations or currents within the labor movement that did not identify as syndicalist, they apply the label to one big unionists or industrial unionists in North America and Australia, Larkinists in Ireland, groups that identify as revolutionary industrialists, revolutionary unionists, anarcho-syndicalists, or councilists. This includes the Industrial Workers of the World in the United States, for example, which claimed its industrial unionism was "a higher type of revolutionary labor organization than that proposed by the syndicalists".
Van der Linden and Thorpe use syndicalism to refer to "all revolutionary, direct-actionist organizatons". Darlington proposes that syndicalism be defined as "revolutionary trade unionism", he and van der Linden argue that it is justified to group together such a wide range of organizations because their similar modes of action or practice outweigh their ideological differences. Others, like Erik Olssen, disagree with this broad definition. According to Olssen, this understanding has a "tendency to blur the distinctions between industrial unionism and revolutionary socialism". Peterson gives a more restrictive definition of syndicalism based on five criteria: A preference for federalism over centralism. Opposition to political parties. Seeing the general strike as the supreme revolutionary weapon. Favoring the replacement of the state by "a federal, economic organization of society". Seeing unions as the basic building blocks of a post-capitalist society; this definition excludes the Canadian One Big Union.
Peterson proposes the broader category revolutionary industrial unionism to encompass syndicalism, groups like the IWW and the OBU, others. The defining commonality between these groups is that they sought to unite all workers in a general organization. Syndicalism spread from there; the French CGT was the inspiration for syndicalist groups throughout Europe and the world. Revolutionary industrial unionism, part of syndicalism in the broader sense, originated with the IWW in the United States and caught on in other countries. In a number of countries, certain syndicalist practices and ideas predate the coining of the term in France or the founding of the IWW. In Bert Altena's view, a number of movements in Europe can be called syndicalist before 1900. According to the English social historian E. P. Thompson and the anarcho-syndicalist theorist Rudolf Rocker, there were syndicalist tendencies in Britain's labor movement as early as the 1830s. Syndicalists saw themselves as the heirs of the First International, the international socialist organization formed in 1864 its anti-authoritarian wing led by Mikhail Bakunin.
Bakunin and his followers advocated the general strike, rejected electoral politics, anticipated workers' organizations replacing rule by the state. According to Lucien van der Walt, the Spanish section of the First International, formed in 1870, was in fact syndicalist. Kenyon Zimmer sees a "proto-syndicalism" in the influence the anarchist-led International Working People's Association and Central Labor Union, which originated in the American section of the First International, had in the Chicago labor movement of the 1880s, they were involved in the nationwide struggle for an eight-hour day. On May 3, 1886, the police killed three striking workers at a demonstration in Chicago. Seven policemen and four workers were killed the following day when someone an IWPA member, threw a bomb at the police. Four anarchists were executed for conspiring with the man who threw the bomb; the Haymarket Affair, as these events become known, led anarchists and labor organizers, including syndicalists, in both the United States and Europe to re-evaluate the revolutionary meaning of the general strike.
According to Émile Pouget, a French anarchist and CGT leader, from "the United States, the idea of the general strike – fertilized by the blood of anarchists hanged in Chicago – was imported to France". In the 1890s, French anarchists, conceding that individual action such as assassinations had failed, turned
New Zealand Labour Party
The New Zealand Labour Party, or Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice, it is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance. The New Zealand Labour Party was formed in 1916 by trade unions, it is thus the country's oldest political party still in existence. With its main rival, the New Zealand National Party, Labour has dominated New Zealand governments since the 1930s. To date, there have been six periods of Labour government under ten Labour prime ministers; the party was first in power from 1935 to 1949, under prime ministers Michael Joseph Savage and Peter Fraser, when it established New Zealand's welfare state. It governed from 1957 to 1960, again from 1972 to 1975, a single term each time. Up to the 1980s the party advocated a strong role for governments in social matters; when it governed from 1984 to 1990 Labour instead privatised state assets and reduced the role of the state in the economy.
Labour prime minister David Lange introduced New Zealand's nuclear-free policy. Labour was again the largest party from 1999 to 2008 when it governed in coalition with, or on the basis of negotiated support from, several minor parties. Since the 2008 general election, Labour has comprised the second-largest caucus represented in the House of Representatives. In the 2017 general election, the party under Jacinda Ardern returned to prominence with its best showing since the 2005 general election, winning 36.9% of the party vote and 46 seats. On 19 October 2017, Labour formed a minority coalition government with New Zealand First, with confidence and supply from the Green Party. Jacinda Ardern serves as Labour Party leader and prime minister, Kelvin Davis is deputy leader; the New Zealand Labour Party was established on 7 July 1916 in Wellington, bringing together socialist groups advocating proportional representation, the abolition of the country quota, the "recall" of Members of Parliament, as well as the nationalisation of production and of exchange.
Despite its Wellington origins, the West Coast town of Blackball is regarded as the birthplace of the party, as it was the location of the founding of one of the main political organisations which became part of the nascent Labour Party. The party was created by, has always been influenced by, the trade unions, in practice Labour Party politicians regard themselves as part of a broader labour movement and tradition; the New Zealand Labour Party was an amalgamation of a number of early groups, the oldest of, founded in 1901. The process of unifying these diverse groups into a single party was difficult, with tensions between different factions running strong. At the turn of the century, the radical side of New Zealand working class politics was represented by the Socialist Party, founded in 1901; the more moderate leftists were supporters of the Liberal Party. In 1905, a group of working class politicians who were dissatisfied with the Liberal approach established the Independent Political Labour League, which managed to win a seat in Parliament in the 1908 election.
This established the basic dividing line in New Zealand's left-wing politics – the Socialists tended to be revolutionary and militant, while the moderates focused instead on progressive reform. In 1910, the Independent Political Labour League was relaunched as an organisation called the Labour Party, distinct from the modern party. Soon, the leaders of the new organisation decided additional effort was needed to promote left-wing cooperation, organised a "Unity Conference"; the Socialists refused to attend. The United Labour Party was born. Soon afterwards, the labour movement was hit by the Waihi miners' strike, a major industrial disturbance prompted by radicals in the union movement; the movement was split between supporting and opposing the radicals, in the end, the conservative government of William Massey suppressed the strike by force. In the strike's aftermath, there was a major drive to end the divisions in the movement and establish a united front – another Unity Conference was called, this time the Socialists attended.
The resulting group was named the Social Democratic Party. Not all members of the United Labour Party accepted the new organisation and some continued on under their own banner. However, the differences between the Social Democrats and the ULP Remnant broke down, in 1915 they formed a unified caucus both to better oppose Reform and to differentiate themselves from the Liberals. A year yet another gathering was held; this time, all major factions of the labour movement agreed to unite, establishing the modern Labour Party. The new Labour Party became involved in the acrimonious debate about conscription, which arose during World War I – the Labour Party opposed conscription, several leading members were jailed and expelled from Parliament for their stand against the war: Peter Fraser, Harry Holland, Bob Semple and Paddy Webb; the loss of leadership threatened to destabilise the party, but the party survived. In its first real electoral test as a united party, the 1919 election, Labour won eight seats – the party's quick success shocked many conservatives.
This compared with 47 for the governing Reform Party and 2
Labour law is the area of law most relating to the relationship between trade unions and the government. While the development of the field in different jurisdictions has resulted in different specific meanings of what is meant by labour law, it is used in reference to employment contexts that involve a trade union, while the term employment law is used for workplaces where the legal relationship is directly between the employer and the employee. While in some jurisdictions the term may be used to refer to such law that may not involve trade unions, the genesis of the term is inseparable and begins with the labour union movements. At the statutory level, Labour law is concerned with the establishment of a labour-relations framework that provides for orderly and peaceful industrial relations between employers and organized workers, includes rules on forming a union, conditions under which the union becomes bargaining agent and lock-outs, process for negotiations, other structural elements that permit the employer and the union to bargain a collective agreement and fill-in the rest specific to rules and conditions relating to the workplace.
It arises from and in the context of British common law and related jurisdictions, to which it is historically linked as wage work begins in the Industrial Revolution, in this way, labour law and related concepts mark a departure from the tradition of contract law that existed for master-servant relations to that point. Labour law is not the law that regulates minimum standards of employment in most British common law jurisdictions, but is the law that pertains to the rules meant to provide a framework for labour relations and collective bargaining. Employment law, or employment standards law, refers to the regulations in statute law that establish minimum conditions relating to the employment of persons, such as minimum working age, minimum hourly wage, so on. Labour law arose in parallel with the Industrial Revolution as the relationship between worker and employer changed from small-scale production studios to large-scale factories. Workers sought better conditions and the right to join a labour union, while employers sought a more predictable and less costly workforce.
The state of labour law at any one time is therefore both the product of, a component of struggles between various social forces. As England was the first country to industrialize, it was the first to face the appalling consequences of industrial revolution in a less regulated economic framework. Over the course of the late 18th and early to mid-19th century the foundation for modern labour law was laid, as some of the more egregious aspects of working conditions were ameliorated through legislation; this was achieved through the concerted pressure from social reformers, notably Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, others. A serious outbreak of fever in 1784 in cotton mills near Manchester drew widespread public opinion against the use of children in dangerous conditions. A local inquiry, presided over by Dr Thomas Percival, was instituted by the justices of the peace for Lancashire, the resulting report recommended the limitation of children's working hours. In 1802, the first major piece of labour legislation was passed − the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act.
This was the first, albeit modest, step towards the protection of labour. The act abolished night work, it required the provision of a basic level of education for all apprentices, as well as adequate sleeping accommodation and clothing. The rapid industrialisation of manufacturing at the turn of the 19th century led to a rapid increase in child employment, public opinion was made aware of the terrible conditions these children were forced to endure; the Factory Act of 1819 was the outcome of the efforts of the industrialist Robert Owen and prohibited child labour under nine years of age and limited the working day to twelve. A great milestone in labour law was reached with the Factory Act of 1833, which limited the employment of children under eighteen years of age, prohibited all night work and, provided for inspectors to enforce the law. Pivotal in the campaigning for and the securing of this legislation were Michael Sadler and the Earl of Shaftesbury; this act was an important step forward, in that it mandated skilled inspection of workplaces and a rigorous enforcement of the law by an independent governmental body.
A lengthy campaign to limit the working day to ten hours was led by Shaftesbury, included support from the Anglican Church. Many committees were formed in support of the cause and some established groups lent their support as well; the campaign led to the passage of the Factory Act of 1847, which restricted the working hours of women and children in British factories to 10 hours per day. These early efforts were principally aimed at limiting child labour. From the mid-19th century, attention was first paid to the plight of working conditions for the workforce in general. In 1850, systematic reporting of fatal accidents was made compulsory, basic safeguards for health and limb in the mines were put in place from 1855. Further regulations, relating to ventilation, fencing of disused shafts, signalling standards, proper gauges and valves for steam-boilers and related machinery were set down. A series of further Acts, in 1860 and 1872 extended the legal provisions and strengthened safety provisions.
Steady development of the coal industry, increasing association among miners, increased scientific knowledge paved the way for the Coa
International Workers' Association
The International Workers' Association is an international federation of anarcho-syndicalist labor unions and initiatives. Based on the principles of revolutionary unionism, the international aims to create unions capable of fighting for the economic and political interests of the working class and to directly abolish capitalism and the state through "the establishment of economic communities and administrative organs run by the workers." At its peak the International represented millions of people worldwide. Its member unions played a central role in the social conflicts of the 1930s; however the International was formed as many countries were entering periods of extreme repression, many of the largest IWA unions were shattered during that period. As a result, by the end of World War II all but one of the International's branches had ceased to function as unions, a slump which continued throughout the 1940s and 1950s, it would not be until the late 1970s, with the death of Spanish caudillo Francisco Franco, that it would see a major union, the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo reform within its ranks.
After the 1970s, the International expanded and counts 11 member sections and 6 Friends. The IWA programme promotes a form of non-hierarchical unionism which seeks to unite workers to fight for economic and political advances towards the final aim of libertarian communism; this federation is designed to both contest immediate industrial relations issues such as pay, working conditions and labor law, pursue the reorganization of society into a global system of economic communes and administrative groups based within a system of federated free councils at local, regional and global levels. This reorganization would form the underlying structure of a self-managed society based on pre-planning and mutual aid—the establishment of anarchist communism; the IWA's Principles and Statutes state its role as being: "To carry on the day-to-day revolutionary struggle for the economic and intellectual advancement of the working class within the limits of present-day society, to educate the masses so that they will be ready to independently manage the processes of production and distribution when the time comes to take possession of all the elements of social life."
The IWA explicitly rejects centralism, political parties and statism, including the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat, as offering the means to carry out such change, drawing on anarchist critiques written both before and after the Russian revolution, most famously Mikhail Bakunin's suggestion that: "If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself."It rejects the concept of economic determinism from some Marxists that liberation would come about. Its methods of struggle are: strikes, sabotage, etc. Direct action reaches its deepest expression in the general strike, which should be, from the point of view of revolutionary unionism, the prelude to the social revolution.... Only in the economic and revolutionary organisations of the working class are there forces capable of bringing about its liberation and the necessary creative energy for the reorganisation of society on the basis of libertarian communism.
The IWA rejects all political and national frontiers and calls for radical changes to the means of production to lessen humanity's environmental impact. From an early stage, the IWA has taken an anti-militarist stance, reflecting the overwhelming anarchist attitude since the First World War that the working class should not engage with the power struggles between ruling classes - and should not die for them, it included a commitment to anti-militarism in its core principles and in 1926 it founded an International Anti-Militarist Coalition to promote disarmament and gather information on war production. While regarding industrial acts such as strikes, etc. as the primary means of struggle against what the IWA viewed as capitalist and state exploitation, the founding document of the IWA states that syndicalists recognize "as valid that violence that may be used as a means of defense against the violent methods used by the ruling classes during the struggles that lead up to the revolutionary populace expropriating the lands and means of production."
It is stressed that this should occur through the formation of a democratic popular militia rather than through a traditional military hierarchy. This has been posited as an alternative to the dictatorship of the proletariat model; the IWA admits organizations which are in full agreement with its Aims and Principles in countries where there is not an affiliated group in existence, requiring them to pay affiliation fees to help maintain the IWA's structure. Member groups are able to participate in and benefit from the global community the IWA provides and can vote in its highest decision-making event, the International Congress, held once every two years. Proposals are submitted at national level at least six months before congress, to allow other national groups to consult and mandate members
Occupational safety and health
Occupational safety and health commonly referred to as occupational health and safety, occupational health, or workplace health and safety, is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety and welfare of people at work. These terms refer to the goals of this field, so their use in the sense of this article was an abbreviation of occupational safety and health program/department etc; the goals of occupational safety and health programs include to foster a safe and healthy work environment. OSH may protect co-workers, family members, employers and many others who might be affected by the workplace environment. In the United States, the term occupational health and safety is referred to as occupational health and occupational and non-occupational safety and includes safety for activities outside of work. In common-law jurisdictions, employers have a common law duty to take reasonable care of the safety of their employees. Statute law may in addition impose other general duties, introduce specific duties, create government bodies with powers to regulate workplace safety issues: details of this vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
As defined by the World Health Organization "occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards." Health has been defined as "a state of complete physical and social well-being and not the absence of disease or infirmity." Occupational health is a multidisciplinary field of healthcare concerned with enabling an individual to undertake their occupation, in the way that causes least harm to their health. Health has been defined as It contrasts, for example, with the promotion of health and safety at work, concerned with preventing harm from any incidental hazards, arising in the workplace. Since 1950, the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization have shared a common definition of occupational health, it was adopted by the Joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health at its first session in 1950 and revised at its twelfth session in 1995. The definition reads: "The main focus in occupational health is on three different objectives: the maintenance and promotion of workers’ health and working capacity.
The concept of working culture is intended in this context to mean a reflection of the essential value systems adopted by the undertaking concerned. Such a culture is reflected in practice in the managerial systems, personnel policy, principles for participation, training policies and quality management of the undertaking." Those in the field of occupational health come from a wide range of disciplines and professions including medicine, epidemiology and rehabilitation, occupational therapy, occupational medicine, human factors and ergonomics, many others. Professionals advise on a broad range of occupational health matters; these include how to avoid particular pre-existing conditions causing a problem in the occupation, correct posture for the work, frequency of rest breaks, preventative action that can be undertaken, so forth. "Occupational health should aim at: the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical and social well-being of workers in all occupations. The research and regulation of occupational safety and health are a recent phenomenon.
As labor movements arose in response to worker concerns in the wake of the industrial revolution, worker's health entered consideration as a labor-related issue. In the United Kingdom, the Factory Acts of the early nineteenth century arose out of concerns about the poor health of children working in cotton mills: the Act of 1833 created a dedicated professional Factory Inspectorate; the initial remit of the Inspectorate was to police restrictions on the working hours in the textile industry of children and young persons. However, on the urging of the Factory Inspectorate, a further Act in 1844 giving similar restrictions on working hours for women in the textile industry introduced a requirement for machinery guarding. In 1840 a Royal Commission published its findings on the state of conditions for the workers of the mining industry that documented the appallingly dangerous environment that they had to work in and the high frequency of accidents; the commission sparked public outrage which resulted in the Mines Act of 1842.
The act set up an inspectorate for mines and collieries which resulted in many prosecutions and safety improvements, by 1850, inspectors were able to enter and inspect premises at their discretion. Otto von Bismarck inaugurated the first social insurance legislation in 1883 and the first worker's compensation law in 1884 – the first of their kind in the Western world. Similar acts followed in other countries
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop