The Creation of the National Union of Railwaymen

Resource Type: Image | Posted on 9th December 2011 by Liam Physick

This page deals with the formation of the NUR. The photograph at the top shows the signing of the fusion agreement in February 1913. The text explains how the NUR originally had 180,000 members - most came from ASRS, with 23,158 from the General Railway Workers’ Union and 4101 from the UKPSS. By 1914, it boasted 273,000 members, the majority of British railway workers, “such was the inspiration caused by united leadership”. The NUR declared a policy of “Industrial Unionism”, namely that all members of one industry must combine because all are affected by conditions in that industry: it rejected “sectionalism” (i.e. representing only one type of railway worker, as the UKPSS had done and as ASLEF continued to do) and “localism”. One of its objects at its foundation was “the supersession of the capitalist system by a Socialistic order of society”: probably, this meant working for the election of a majority Labour government which would then introduce socialist reforms, including the nationalisation of the railways. Another object is to support members who have been made unemployed “through unjust treatment, or through any disputes existing between an employer and a member of members of the Union”: a clear reference to the victimisation practices that had been so widespread in the nineteenth century

The Creation of the National Union of Railwaymen

Tagged under: railway workers, aslef, trade unions, national union of railwaymen, amalgamated society of railway servants, general railway workers' union

Categorised under: Work & Industry

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