“But in the meantime the Trades Unions, legalised in 1824, had also stepped in, and high time it was. Capitalists are always organised. They need in most cases no formal union, no rules, officers, etc. Their small number, as compared with that of the workmen, the fact of their forming a separate class, their constant social and commercial intercourse stand them in lieu of that; it is only later on, when a branch of manufactures has taken possession of a district, such as the cotton trade has of Lancashire, that a formal capitalist’s Trades Union becomes necessary. On the other hand, the workpeople from the very beginning cannot do without a strong organisation, well-defined by rules and delegating its authority to officers and committees. The Act of 1824 rendered these organisation legal. From that day labour became a power in England. The formerly helpless mass, divided against itself, was not longer so. To the strength given by union and common action soon was added the force of a well-filled exchequer – “resistance money”, as our French brethren expressively call it. The entire position of things now changed. For the capitalist it became a risky thing to indulge in a reduction of wages or an increase of working-hours” [Frederick Engels, Trades Unions, 1881] [(in) Marx Engels, On Britain, 1953]

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