By John Lovell
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Additional info for A Short History of the T.U.C
As the prospect of an early end to the war receded further into the distance, the morale of industrial workers began to break down. There were good reasons for this. While the unions had leant over backwards to accommodate the Government, the latter had done little to protect the workers from the distorting effects of war upon the economy. The cost of living had increased greatly but without a commensurate increase in wage rates. There were numerous other sources of tension; overcrowded housing in munition centres, restrictions on the movement of workers in key industries, and of course dilution.
Some think that it's a case of skilled men who are anti-socialist, and the unskilled who are Socialists. This is not so. The position in which the miners' delegates found themselves when considering the Collectivist resolution is indicative of what may be expected from all the large unions at an early date, viz. as many for Socialism as against it. 1 1 Labour Leader (28 Sep 1895). 3 The Emergence of the Labour Movement, 1894-1914 I. THE ENGINEERING LOCK-OUT AND THE GENERAL FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS SHORTLY before the Trades Union Congress accepted the new standing orders the Liberal Government was defeated and the Conservatives returned to office to remain in power for ten years.
J. R. Clynes became the overall Food Controller. So far as wages were concerned, policy also changed. The arbitration machinery was altered, and whereas wage rates had been held down hitherto, they were now raised over wide areas of the economy. Industrial unrest continued to gather momentum, however, as war weariness took its toll. The Government was under unrelenting pressure on the industrial front, and was obliged to extend the apparatus of economic control over ever widening areas of the economy in order to propitiate a labour force that was in a dangerously rebellious mood.
A Short History of the T.U.C by John Lovell