Theory & Struggle

Wal Hannington and the unemployed workers’ struggles in Britain in the 1930s

Theory & Struggle (2021), 122, (1), 8–21.

Abstract

Wal Hannington’s hallmark leadership of the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement (NUWM) in the UK in the 1930s was built on a clear understanding of the causes of unemployment and therefore possible remedies; a highly sensitive and morally profound awareness of the consequences of unemployment for both the unemployed and their families and for those still in work; and a realisation that the struggle was political in the true sense — a question of the abuse of power by those in charge and the need to mobilise countervailing power of the people in struggle. It was this communist emphasis on class struggle that enabled the movement to be effective at every level — in the labour exchanges, in the streets and homes, in the trade union offices, and in the council and parliamentary chambers.

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Author details

Seifert, Roger