British women trade unionists on strike at Bryant & May, 1888 Volumes

Volumes

6 volumes in British women trade unionists on strike at Bryant & May, 1888

Early years

Bryant & May grew from modest roots. The founders, William Bryant and Francis May, worked variously as soap and tea manufacturers and grocers to eventually become the largest British match manufacturers and an important player in both home and export markets, trading in many countries. The documents in this section...

  • Contributor:  C L R James Library, Hackney
  • Reference:  72993a
  • Subjects:  Politics, Activism, Women, History, Protest, Unions, Workers, Politics, Activism, Women, History, Protest, Unions, Workers
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Heyday

In 1884 Bryant and May became a public company which was to expand greatly during the remainder of the nineteenth and early decades of the twentieth centuries. The new company comprised Bryant & May's business and that of two other match manufacturers, Pace & Sons and J.H. Hunt & Co....

  • Contributor:  C L R James Library, Hackney
  • Reference:  72993b
  • Subjects:  Politics, Activism, Women, History, Protest, Unions, Workers, Politics, Activism, Women, History, Protest, Unions, Workers
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The strike

Bryant & May continued to prosper into 1887: the Bryant sons had renounced the Quaker religion, perceived as a serious barrier to social advancement. Their power and influence had managed to reach the very heart of the Liberal establishment. A statue to William Gladstone, which still stands on the Bow...

  • Contributor:  C L R James Library, Hackney
  • Reference:  72993c
  • Subjects:  Politics, Activism, Women, History, Protest, Unions, Workers, Co-operative, Politics, Activism, Women, History, Protest, Unions, Workers, Co-operative
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Aftermath

Despite the company relenting to worker demands in 1888, its label as 'the Phossy Jaw firm' continued to prevail. Ten years after the strike the company were again in the news for under-reporting cases of phosphorous necrosis. Britain were one of the last countries to sign up to the Berne...

  • Contributor:  C L R James Library, Hackney
  • Reference:  72993d
  • Subjects:  Politics, Activism, Women, History, Protest, Unions, Workers, Politics, Activism, Women, History, Protest, Unions, Workers
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