| NOTORIOUSLY MILITANT|
The Story of a Union Branch at Ford Dagenham
by Sheila Cohen
In 1946, after a series of stormy strikes and a mass occupation at Ford's plant in Dagenham, Essex, thousands of workers came together in a new branch of the Transport and General Workers Union. Later, in the early 1980s, a band of dedicated workplace activists brought branch 1/1107 to explosive life with support for working-class causes from equal opportunities to the stunningly effective boycott of parts for South Africa.
Notoriously Militant, which takes as its title a tabloid journalist's verdict on the branch, covers the history of Ford's Dagenham plant - and its roots in Henry Ford's early US activities - from 20th-century shop-floor struggles to the 21st-century fight against plant closure. Based on original research and oral history, Notoriously Militant offers a primer for activists and analysts on the confrontation between worker militancy and the rigours of "Fordism".
This book is a lively popular history looking at -
Working-class history as made daily by so-called "ordinary" workers
Crucial questions of direct democracy and membership participation which can offer highly relevant lessons for today's activists and strategists
Links between basic workplace struggles and - potentially - revolutionary conflict
The pressures towards "co-operation" between union and management - and the consequences
The interweaving of gender and ethnicity issues with the class-based structures of a major industrial workplace.
More than a history of structures - a lively popular history!
'Sheila Cohen always writes with meticulous research and overwhelming thoroughness. A comprehensive and fascinating history of a purple period for the trade union movement and comes highly recommended.' Morning Star
In this spirited account, written by industrial relations researcher and activist Sheila Cohen, some of the high points of the trade union history of the plant-as seen from the standpoint of those directly involved in these struggles-are vividly recalled.' International Socialism
Contents: Prehistory: T&G Meets FMC; The Birth of 1107; The PTA; Continuous Conflict; The Seventies: From Social Contract to "Syndicalism"; The Eighties: From New Technology to "Employee Involvement"; The Nineties: "Flexibility", Equal Opportunities and the Struggle for Security; The Noughties: End of an Era; All Over?
Sheila Cohen is a senior researcher at the Work and Employment Reserach Unit, University of Hertfordshire and author of Ramparts of Resistance: Why Workers Lost Their Power, and How to Get It Back.
ISBN. 978-0-85036-645-7 paperback