1913 Dublin Lockout Centenary Conference, Salford, 19 October


1913 Dublin Lockout Centenary Conference

Organised by the University of Salford and Working Class Movement Library

Saturday 19 October 10.30am-4.30pm

Old Fire Station, University of Salford, The Crescent, Salford M5 4WT

2013 marks the centenary of the infamous Dublin Lockout, the most important industrial struggle in Irish history. When some 25,000 workers were promptly locked out of their workplaces by over 400 employers for refusing to sign an undertaking not to be a member of Jim Larkin’s Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU), there was a concerted attempt to crush independent and militant trade union organisation.

With inspirational defiance, courage and tenacity, the Dublin workers, led by Larkin and the ITGWU, held out for nearly six months between 26 August 1913 and 18 January 1914. Workers with the lowest wages and the worst living standards in Western Europe, many of them casual labourers, jointed together in an attempt to fight the employers to a standstill. It was a battle of epic proportions.

Yet while most accounts of the Dublin Lockout consider it primarily as an event in Irish history, it was also one of the most important struggles in twentieth century British history; probably the only other comparable event was the national miners’ strike of 1984-5. Influenced by, and an integral part (if not the highpoint) of the great ‘labour unrest’ that swept Britain in the years 1910-14, and with the fight for solidarity with the Dublin workers carried right into the heart of the British labour movement, the lockout was to have tremendous repercussions in Britain as well as in Ireland.

The defeat of the strikers and the success of the lockout strengthened the power of employers in Ireland, and was subsequently to be reflected in some of the post-war tactics used by British employers, notably in the 1926 General Strike.

At this centenary one-day national conference (organised jointly by the University of Salford and Working Class Movement Library) leading specialists in the fields of labour history and contemporary employment relations in both Ireland and Britain will revaluate the lockout’s causes, protagonists and dynamics, the extent of solidarity generated and reasons for ultimate defeat, as well as consider its legacy and enduring contemporary relevance.

9.45am -10.30am: Registration and Coffee

10.30am- 10.45am: Welcome and Introduction

10.45am-11.30am: The Dublin Lockout: Speaker: Padraig Yeates, former Irish Times industry and employment correspondent; author of Lockout: Dublin 1913; project manager of the Irish 1913 Committee

11.30am-12.15pm: The Irish Transport and General Workers Union: Speaker: Francy Devine, author of Organising History: A Centenary of SIPTU; 1909-2009, former President of Irish Labour History Society and editor of journal Saothar; ex-tutor in the SIPTU Education and Training Department

12.15pm-1.30pm: Lunch, Music and Exhibition Display

1.30pm-2.15pm: Jim Larkin: Speaker: Emmet O’Connor, senior lecturer in History, Magee College, University of Ulster; author of James Larkin and Syndicalism in Ireland

2.15pm-3.00pm: Dora Montefiore and the ‘Save the Kiddies’ Scheme: Karen Hunt, Professor of Modern British History, Keele University; author of Equivocal Feminists and co-author of Socialist Women: Britain, 1889s to 1920s.

3.00pm-3.45pm: Solidarity and Defeat: Speaker: Ralph Darlington, Professor of Employment Relations, University of Salford; author of The Political Trajectory of J.T. Murphy and Syndicalism and the Transition to Communism: An International Comparative Analysis

3.45pm-4.30pm: Speakers Panel: Questions and Discussion

Map of Venue Location (the Old Fire Station is next door to the Working Class Movement Library and listed as number 26 on the main map)

Click to access University-of-Salford_Campus_Map-and-Guide.pdf

Travel details: http://www.salford.ac.uk/about-us/travel/travelling-to-the-university

£15 waged and £5 unwaged, with lunch provided

To reserve your place in advance or for further details contact J.Curtis@salford.ac.uk

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