Monday, May 11, 2009

Deptford - Gas Workers Union

Gas Workers & General Labourers Union
Deptford - South London

Deptford & Greenwich area worst organised in London and ripe for non union labour

Kentish Mercury
Sunday July 14th July 1907

Pete Curran MP and Will Thorne MP
Meeting of local Deptford branch of the Gas Workers & General Labourers Union held a demonstration in Deptford Broadway Thomas Garbek presided and Arthur Hayday of West Ham addressed the meeting

Pete Curran MP for Jarrow spoke after his recent election, he had worked at the Woolwich Arsenal he and others conduc
ted vigorous campaigns in Deptford and Beresford Square they then declared that until Labour rose to the position of being able to send to parliament men from their own ranks and until they paid for their own political representation nothing of a useful character could be done 31 Labour MP's, their union, which now represented in parliament by four of its members they were hoping that the victory of Jarrow would be repeated at every opportunity.

If that were done the day of strikes would come to an end, they would change the venue to the floor of the House of Commons which they might be able to convert from a lounge for the leisured into a workshop on behalf of the impoverished citizens of the United kingdom.

Mr Harry Pickard said that so far as trades unionism was concerned Deptford was the blackest spot in London-the men were too apathetic. trade unionism was only beginning to find out its proper function.


Will Thorne MP for West Ham stated
as to the organisation of unskilled labour in that district he expressed the opinion that Deptford and Greenwich were the worst districts in London. as proof he declared that in the event of a dispute those in search of "free labour" went first to those places.