International Workingmen's Association
The International Workingmen's Association called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist and anarchist groups and trade unions that were based on the working class and class struggle. It was founded in 1864 in a workmen's meeting held in London, its first congress was held in 1866 in Geneva. In Europe, a period of harsh reaction followed the widespread Revolutions of 1848; the next major phase of revolutionary activity began twenty years with the founding of the IWA in 1864. At its peak, the IWA reported having 8 million members. In 1872, it split in two over conflicts between statist and anarchist factions and dissolved in 1876; the Second International was founded in 1889. Following the January Uprising in Poland in 1863, French and British workers started to discuss developing a closer working relationship. Henri Tolain, Joseph Perrachon and Charles Limousin visited London in July 1863, attending a meeting held in St. James's Hall in honour of the Polish uprising.
Here, there was discussion of the need for an international organization, which would amongst other things prevent the import of foreign workers to break strikes. In September 1864, some French delegates again visited London with the concrete aim of setting up a special committee for the exchange of information upon matters of interest to the workers of all lands. On 28 September, a great international meeting for the reception of the French delegates took place in St. Martin’s Hall in London; the meeting was attended by a wide array of European radicals, including English Owenites, followers of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Louis Auguste Blanqui and Polish nationalists, Italian republicans and German socialists. Included among the last-mentioned of this eclectic band was a somewhat obscure 46-year-old émigré journalist Karl Marx, who would soon come to play a decisive role in the organisation; the positivist historian Edward Spencer Beesly, a professor at London University, was in the chair. His speech pilloried the violent proceedings of the governments and referred to their flagrant breaches of international law and advocated a union of the workers of the world for the realisation of justice on earth.
George Odger, Secretary of the London Trades Council, read a speech calling for international co-operation. The meeting unanimously decided to found an international organisation of workers; the centre was to be in London, directed by a committee of 21, instructed to draft a programme and constitution. Most of the British members of the committee were drawn from the Universal League for the Material Elevation of the Industrious Classes and were noted trade-union leaders like Odger, George Howell, Cyrenus Osborne Ward and Benjamin Lucraft and included Owenites and Chartists; the French members were Victor Le Lubez and Bosquet. Italy was represented by Fontana. Other members were Louis Wolff, Johann Eccarius and at the foot of the list Marx, who participated in his individual capacity and did not speak during the meeting; this executive committee in turn selected a subcommittee to do the actual writing of the organisational programme—a group which included Marx and which met at his home about a week after the conclusion of the St. Martin's Hall assembly.
This subcommittee deferred the task of collective writing in favor of sole authorship by Marx and it was he who drew up the fundamental documents of the new organisation. On 5 October, the General Council was formed with co-opted additional members representing other nationalities, it was based at the headquarters of the Universal League for the Material Elevation of the Industrious Classes at 18 Greek Street. Different groups offered proposals for the organisation. Louis Wolff offered a proposal based on the rules and constitution of the Italian Workingmen’s Association and John Weston, an Owenite tabled a programme. Wolff left for Lubez rewrote it in a way which appalled Marx. Through deft manipulation of the sub-committee, Marx was left with all the papers and set about writing the Address to the Working Classes to, attached a simplified set of rules. At first, the IWA had male membership, although in April 1865 it was agreed that women could become members; the initial leadership was male.
At the IWA General Council meeting on 16 April 1867, a letter from the secularist speaker Harriet Law about women's rights was read and it was agreed to ask her if she would be willing to attend council meetings. On 25 June 1867, Law was admitted to the General Council and for the next five years was the only woman representative. Due to the wide variety of philosophies present in the First International, there was conflict from the start; the first objections to Marx's influence came from the mutualists, who opposed communism and statism. However, shortly after Mikhail Bakunin and his followers joined in 1868, the First International became polarised into two camps, with Marx and Bakunin as their respective figureheads; the clearest differences between the groups emerged over their proposed strategies for achieving their visions of socialism. The anarchists grouped around Bakunin favoured "direct economical struggle against capitalism, without interfering in the political parliamentary agitation".
Marxist thinking at that time focused on parliamentary activity. For example, when the new German Empire of 1871 introduced male suffrage, many German socialists became active in t
George Odger was a pioneer British trade unionist and radical politician. He is best remembered as the head of the London Trades Council during the period of formation of the Trades Union Congress and as the first President of the First International. George Odger was born in 1813 in Roborough, England. Odger's father was a miner from Cornwall and the family was an impoverished one, forcing George to be apprenticed as a shoemaker at about 10 years of age. Odger's formal education was limited and primitive, but he was able to expand his intellectual horizons through self-education and reading. Odger traveled the country in search of work as a shoemaker landing in London around the age of 20. There he became active in the nascent trade union movement. Odger first came to public attention in 1859 when he served on a general committee to coordinate aid for striking workers in the London builders' strike of that year; this led to active participation in the London Trades Council when it was founded the following year, followed by election to the position of Secretary of that organisation in 1862.
In 1862, Odger became the Chairman of the Manhood Suffrage and Vote by Ballot Association. A vigorous supporter of the anti-slavery Republicans in the American Civil War, Odger is credited with helping shift the editorial line of the labour newspaper The Bee-Hive from supporting the Confederate States of America in the conflict. Odger was associated with the Workman's Advocate, which became the press organ of the International and the Reform League, from 1866–67 he was editor of the renamed Commonwealth. In 1866, he represented the London Trades Council at the first conferences the United Kingdom Alliance of Organised Trades, while in 1867, he joined the Conference of Amalgamated Trades. Shortly after the Reform League's Hyde Park demonstration in 1867, Odger attended a private meeting of a dozen senior members of the league in which the French revolutionary Gustave Paul Cluseret proposed they start a civil war in England. According to John Bedford Leno, George Odger spoke out in support of Cluseret's proposal but this was misreported in the next days issue of The Times.
George Odger was in the minority of the league. On 28 September 1864 a meeting was held at the St. Martin's Hotel in London to launch an international association bringing together trade union leaders from Great Britain and the European continent, with a view to forestall the ability of employers to use unwitting foreign workers as a means of enforcing lockouts or breaking strikes; as a leading member of the British trade union movement, George Odger not only attending this foundational gathering but was a prominent speaker at the event. The organisation resulting from the gathering would be known as the International Workingmen's Association, remembered today as the so-called First International. George Odger would be named to the governing General Council of this organisation, remaining in that position until his resignation in 1872. During this interval Odger remained active in the Trades Union Congress, he was the Secretary of its Parliamentary Committee, the post to become the General Secretary, from 1872 to 1873.
Odger put himself forward electorally for the first time in a new electoral district in the 1868 General election — the first held since passage of the Reform Act 1867 that granted the right to vote to part of the male urban working class for the first time. Although his participation had been sought by a great number of local voters, controversy erupted that Odger's participation would split the Liberal vote and he subsequently withdrew from the race. In June 1869 Odger was one of four Liberal candidates to compete for two seats in the borough of Stafford. Odger would finish in third place in the primary election, with the two Liberal victors defeated in the general election by Thomas Salt and Reginald Arthur James Talbot. Odger stood as a Lib–Lab candidate in Southwark in the February 1870 by-election there, losing by about 300 votes out of more than 9,000 cast in a three-way race. Odger died on 4 March 1877, he was remembered at the time of his death as a fluent speaker. He was not what is called'eloquent,' but he was better.
The occasion of my seeing them was the funeral of Mr. George Odger, which befell some four or five weeks before the Easter period. Mr. George Odger, it will be remembered, was an English Radical agitator of humble origin, who had distinguished himself by a perverse desire to get into Parliament, he exercised, I believe, the useful profession of a shoemaker, he knocked in vain at the door that opens but to the refined. But he was a useful and honourable man, his own people gave him an honourable burial." George Odger is buried in Brompton Cemetery. Odger is listed on the Reformers Memorial in Kensal Green Cemetery in London. Odger Street on the John Burns' Latchmere Estate in Battersea is named after him. A London County Council commemorative Blue Plaque was erected at Odger's former residence, 18 St Giles High Street, in the 1950s. After this house was demolished in the 1970s the plaque was rescued and can now be seen in the lobby of St Giles in the Fields having been placed there in 1974. Keith Gildart and David Howell, Dictionary of Labour Biography: Vol. XIII.
Basingstoke 2010. "George Odger," Obituary in The Spectator, 10 March 1877.
Trades Union Congress
The Trades Union Congress is a national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in England and Wales, representing the majority of trade unions. There are fifty affiliated unions, with a total of about 5.6 million members. The current General Secretary is Frances O'Grady; the TUC’s mission is to support trade unions to grow and thrive, to stand up for everyone who works for a living. They campaign for more and better jobs, a more equal, more prosperous country; the TUC's decision-making body is the Annual Congress. Between congresses decisions are made by the General Council. An Executive Committee is elected by the Council from its members. Affiliated unions can send delegates to Congress, with the number of delegates they can send proportionate to their size; each year Congress elects a President of the Trades Union Congress, who carries out the office for the remainder of the year and presides over the following year's conference. The TUC is not affiliated to the Labour Party. At election time the TUC cannot endorse a particular party by name.
However it can point to policies that it believes would be positive for workers’ rights, or to social cohesion and community welfare. It can politically campaign against policies that it believes would be injurious to workers; the TUC runs the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum and annual Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival and Rally commemorating the Tolpuddle Martyrs and their impact on trade unionism. The TUC Library preserves documents related to labour history in other lands, it now focuses on expanding the online and digital collections. The TUC archives are held at the Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick Library; the archive contains files from c1920 – 2000 consisting of correspondence and external documents, reports, printed material and press statements. The TUC campaigns on a wide range of issues relating to the experience of people at work. Notably, the TUC succeeded in forcing Sports Direct to undergo an independent review into their treatment of workers in September 2016. In October 2016, the TUC's campaign against the Trade Union Bill won'Best Public Affairs Campaign' at the PR Week Awards.
The TUC's Campaign Priorities for 2017–18 are: 1. An economy that works for working people 2. Great jobs for everyone 3. A thriving movement that delivers for younger workers In 1970 the Equal Pay Act made it illegal for employers to give a woman worker different pay and conditions to a male one doing work of equal value. In 1999 the National Minimum Wage was established to protect low-paid workers. In 1999 a limit was placed on working hours as a health and safety measure; this was followed by a minimum holiday entitlement. In 2007 the no-smoking ban was introduced in public areas in response to union arguments that workers were risking their health. In October 2011 agency workers gained the right to receive the same treatment as permanent staff carrying out the same work; the TUC was founded in the 1860s. The United Kingdom Alliance of Organised Trades, founded in Sheffield, Yorkshire, in 1866, was the immediate forerunner of the TUC, although efforts to expand local unions into regional or national organisations date back at least forty years earlier.
The first TUC meeting was held in 1868 when the Manchester and Salford Trades Council convened the founding meeting in the Manchester Mechanics' Institute. The fact that the TUC was formed by Northern Trades Councils was not coincidental. One of the issues which prompted this initiative was the perception that the London Trades Council was taking a dominant role in speaking for the Trade Union Movement as a whole; the second TUC meeting took place in 1869 at the Oddfellows Hall, Temple Street, Birmingham where delegates discussed the eight-hour working day, election of working people to Parliament and the issue of free education. Arising out of the 1897 Congress, a decision was taken to form a more centralised trade union structure that would enable a more militant approach to be taken to fighting the employer and achieving the socialist transformation of society; the result was the General Federation of Trade Unions, formed in 1899. For some years it was unclear which body would emerge as the national trade union centre for the UK and for a while both were recognised as such by different fraternal organisations in other countries.
However, it was soon agreed among the major unions that the TUC should take the leading role and that this would be the central body of the organised Labour Movement in the UK. The GFTU continued in existence and remains to this day as a federation of trade unions providing common services and facilities to its members; as the TUC expanded and formalised its role as the "General Staff of the Labour Movement" it incorporated the Trades Councils who had given birth to it becoming the body which authorised these local arms of the TUC to speak on behalf of the wider Trade Union Movement at local and County level. As the TUC became bureaucratised, the Trades Councils found themselves being subject to political restrictions and purges and to having their role downplayed and marginalised. In some areas (especially in London and the South East
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
A trade union called a labour union or labor union, is an association of workers in a particular trade, industry, or company created for the purpose of securing improvement in pay, working conditions or social and political status through collective bargaining and working conditions through the increased bargaining power wielded by creation of a monopoly of the workers. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with employers; the most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment". This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring and promotion of workers, workplace safety and policies. Unions may organize a particular section of skilled workers, a cross-section of workers from various trades, or attempt to organize all workers within a particular industry; the agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers.
Trade unions traditionally have a constitution which details the governance of their bargaining unit and have governance at various levels of government depending on the industry that binds them to their negotiations and functioning. Originating in Great Britain, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution. Trade unions may be composed of individual workers, past workers, apprentices or the unemployed. Trade union density, or the percentage of workers belonging to a trade union, is highest in the Nordic countries. Since the publication of the History of Trade Unionism by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, the predominant historical view is that a trade union "is a continuous association on wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment." Karl Marx described trade unions thus: "The value of labour-power constitutes the conscious and explicit foundation of the trade unions, whose importance for the working class can scarcely be overestimated.
The trade unions aim at nothing less than to prevent the reduction of wages below the level, traditionally maintained in the various branches of industry. That is to say, they wish to prevent the price of labour-power from falling below its value". A modern definition by the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that a trade union is "an organization consisting predominantly of employees, the principal activities of which include the negotiation of rates of pay and conditions of employment for its members."Yet historian R. A. Leeson, in United we Stand, said: Two conflicting views of the trade-union movement strove for ascendancy in the nineteenth century: one the defensive-restrictive guild-craft tradition passed down through journeymen's clubs and friendly societies... the other the aggressive-expansionist drive to unite all'labouring men and women' for a'different order of things'. Recent historical research by Bob James in Craft, Trade or Mystery puts forward the view that trade unions are part of a broader movement of benefit societies, which includes medieval guilds, Oddfellows, friendly societies, other fraternal organizations.
The 18th century economist Adam Smith noted the imbalance in the rights of workers in regards to owners. In The Wealth of Nations, Book I, chapter 8, Smith wrote: We hear, it has been said, of the combination of masters, though of those of workmen, but whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate When workers combine, masters... never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combination of servants and journeymen. As Smith noted, unions were illegal for many years in most countries, although Smith argued that it should remain illegal to fix wages or prices by employees or employers. There were severe penalties for including execution. Despite this, unions were formed and began to acquire political power resulting in a body of labour law that not only legalized organizing efforts, but codified the relationship between employers and those employees organized into unions.
The origins of trade unions can be traced back to 18th century Britain, where the rapid expansion of industrial society taking place drew women, rural workers and immigrants into the work force in large numbers and in new roles. They encountered a large hostility in their early existence from employers and government groups; this pool of unskilled and semi-skilled labour spontaneously organized in fits and starts throughout its beginnings, would be an important arena for the development of trade unions. Trade unions have sometimes been seen as successors to the guilds of medieval Europe, though the relationship between the two is disputed, as the masters of the guilds employed workers who were not allowed to organize. Trade unions and collective bargaining were outlawed from no than the middle of the 14th century when the Ordinance of Labourers was enacted in the Kingdom of England but their way of thinking was the one that endured dur
The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales is a court in London and one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court. Part of the present building stands on the site of the medieval Newgate gaol, on a road named Old Bailey that follows the line of the City of London's fortified wall, which runs from Ludgate Hill to the junction of Newgate Street and Holborn Viaduct; the Old Bailey has been housed in several structures near this location since the sixteenth century, its present building dates from 1902. The Crown Court sitting at the Central Criminal Court deals with major criminal cases from within Greater London and in exceptional cases, from other parts of England and Wales. Trials at the Old Bailey, as at other courts, are open to the public; the court originated as the sessions house of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of the City of London and of Middlesex. The original medieval court was first mentioned in 1585, it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and rebuilt in 1674, with the court open to the weather to prevent the spread of disease.
In 1734, it was refronted, enclosing the court and reducing the influence of spectators: this led to outbreaks of typhus, notably in 1750 when 60 people died, including the Lord Mayor and two judges. It was rebuilt again in 1774 and a second courtroom was added in 1824. Over 100,000 criminal trials were carried out at the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1834. In 1834, it was renamed as the Central Criminal Court and its jurisdiction extended beyond that of London and Middlesex to the whole of the English jurisdiction for trials of major cases, her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service manages the courts and administers the trials but the building itself is owned by the City of London Corporation, which finances the building, the running of it, the staff and the maintenance out of their own resources. The court was intended as the site where only criminals accused of crimes committed in the City and Middlesex were tried. However, in 1856, there was public revulsion at the accusations against the doctor William Palmer that he was a poisoner and murderer.
This led to fears. The Central Criminal Court Act 1856 was passed to enable his trial to be held at the Old Bailey. In the 19th century, the Old Bailey was a courtroom adjacent to Newgate Prison. Hangings were a public spectacle in the street outside until May 1868; the condemned would be led along Dead Man's Walk between the prison and the court, many were buried in the walk itself. Large, riotous crowds would gather and pelt the condemned with rotten fruit and vegetables and stones. In 1807, 28 people were crushed to death. A secret tunnel was subsequently created between the prison and St Sepulchre's church opposite, to allow the chaplain to minister to the condemned man without having to force his way through the crowds; the present Old Bailey building dates from 1902 but it was opened on 27 February 1907. It was designed by E. W. Mountford and built on the site of the infamous Newgate Prison, demolished to allow the court buildings to be constructed. Above the main entrance is inscribed the admonition: "Defend the Children of the Poor & Punish the Wrongdoer".
King Edward VII opened the courthouse. On the dome above the court stands a bronze statue of Lady Justice, executed by the British sculptor F. W. Pomeroy, she holds the scales of justice in her left. The statue is popularly supposed to show blind Justice, the figure is not blindfolded: the courthouse brochures explain that this is because Lady Justice was not blindfolded, because her "maidenly form" is supposed to guarantee her impartiality which renders the blindfold redundant. During the Blitz of World War II, the Old Bailey was bombed and damaged, but subsequent reconstruction work restored most of it in the early 1950s. In 1952, the restored interior of the Grand Hall of the Central Criminal Court was once again open; the interior of the Great Hall is decorated with paintings commemorating the Blitz, as well as quasi-historical scenes of St Paul's Cathedral with nobles outside. Running around the entire hall are a series of axioms, some of biblical reference, they read: "The law of the wise is a fountain of life" "The welfare of the people is supreme" "Right lives by law and law subsists by power" "Poise the cause in justice's equal scales" "Moses gave unto the people the laws of God" "London shall have all its ancient rights"The Great Hall is decorated with many busts and statues, chiefly of British monarchs, but of legal figures, those who achieved renown by campaigning for improvement in prison conditions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
This part of the building houses the shorthand-writers' offices. The lower level hosts a minor exhibition on the history of the Old Bailey and Newgate featuring historical prison artefacts. In 1973, the Belfast Brigade of the Provisional IRA exploded a car bomb in the street outside the courts, killing one and injuring 200 people. A shard of glass is preserved as a reminder, embedded in the wall at the top of the main stairs. Between 1968 and 1972, a new South Block, designed by the architects Donald McMorran and George Whitby, was built to accommodate more modern courts. There are presently 18 courts in use. Court 19 is now used variously as a press overflow facility, as a registra
Sheffield Trades and Labour Council
The Sheffield Trades and Labour Council known as the Sheffield Trades Council, is a labour organisation uniting trade unionists in Sheffield. The earliest recorded attempt to found an alliance of trade unions in the city is the "Sheffield Mechanical Trades Association", created in 1822 to bring together six cutlery trades. In 1830, a "Trades General Union" works owners. From the mid-1830s, there were occasional meetings open to all trade unionists in the town. Around 1838, an "Alliance of Organised Trades" was formed, producing the first permanent trades council-style body in Sheffield; this decided not to offer evidence into the Government inquiry into trade unions, voted against 20-12 against joining the Chartists, although it did oppose the Corn Laws. In 1843, the Alliance formed the "United Trades Union", but this undertook little activity and dissolved in 1847 after the Table Knife Hafters Society borrowed £750 of its funds withdrew without repaying the loan; the Alliance was re-constituted in 1844 to counter a new employers' organisation.
The new group known as the "United Trades of Sheffield" elected John Drury, leader of the Razor Grinders as its Secretary. He persuaded Thomas Duncombe to become the President of a new National Association of United Trades for the Protection of Labour, but neither body had proved lasting. A large debt was left following the groups' collapse, fear of inheriting this discouraged the formation of a replacement organisation for some years; the organisation originated in 1858, when many Sheffield compositors were involved in a dispute with S. Harrison, owner of the Sheffield Times newspaper, who wished to reduce their wages; when members of the Journeyman Printers' Society refused to accept the reduced terms, Harrison recruited non-union labour from London and attempted to prevent any of his remaining workers belonging to a union. The union branch printed a statement, "The Press Trampling on the Rights of Labour", in response to which, Harrison took up proceedings for libel, claiming £2,000 in damages.
Charles Bagshaw, the local secretary of the Razor Smiths' Union, attempted to bring the parties together for conciliation, but Harrison refused this. In response to his threat of litigation, a meeting of local trade unions was held in Sheffield's Town Hall on 10 November 1858; the meeting, chaired by George Calvert Holland, passed a resolution calling for the foundation of a local trades council. A committee was appointed to this end, which managed to get Harrison to withdraw the charges against the printers; the committee called a series of further meetings, which agreed its rules and the title of Association of Organised Trades of Sheffield and Neighbourhood on 22 June 1859. Although not the first trades council, only Glasgow Trades Council can claim a longer continuous history. In September, the compositors' leader William Dronfield was elected as the trades council's first Secretary, a post he held until 1867. Robert Applegarth, George Austin and Joseph Rolley were elected to the Executive.
The new organisation declared itself dedicated to "the establishment and perpetuation of a more intimate relation between all branches of the operative classes, giving increased efficiency to the operation of trade societies." In the first instance, it saw itself as an impartial arbiter of industrial relations, where arbitration failed, as a supporter of its branches. The arbitration saw successes in various trades, in Sheffield and Hathersage; the membership was of unions based in the cutlery trade. On formation, there were 17 branches, with 3,100 members, while by February 1860, twenty-two societies had joined, representing 3,536 workers. A recession hit trade from 1861, membership fell, to a low of around 2,400 in 1863; the Association supported the London Builders' Strike of 1859-60, which brought about the foundation of the London Trades Council. It supported a Bill to create courts for compulsory arbitration, working with Sheffield's Members of Parliament, George Hadfield and John Arthur Roebuck.
In 1864, the grinders' union issued a wage claim. This was ignored, when a new claim the following year was passed over, they joined with the smiths' union, the largest in the town, in calling a strike in February 1866; some large employers retaliated by installing file cutting machines. The Association's attempt to mediate failed, the employers rejected a compromise. In order to bolster the strike, the Association appealed for funds from trades in other areas of the country, having received some, it agreed a proposal from the Wolverhampton Trades Council to hold a national conference; the strike was lost in June. Dronfield invited delegates from across Britain to Sheffield on 17 July 1866. 138 attended. The meeting resolved to found a national organisation of trade unions, the United Kingdom Alliance of Organised Trades. Most of its Executive Council came from the Sheffield area, its executive was the same as that of the Sheffield Association. A series of violent attacks on non-trade unionists by a small minority of unionist, the "Sheffield Outrages", ran through 1866, so in November, the trades council joined with the London Trades Council to call for a government enquiry.
The Association formed a Trade Union Defence Committee, led by George Austin. At the 1868 general election, Dronfield had on behalf of the trades council persuaded Anthony John Mundella to stand in the Sheffield constituency, believing that the Liberal would act in the interests of Labour. However, some disside