Labour History Review

'Unregulated and Suicidal Competition': Irish Rural Industrial Labour and Scottish Anti-Sweating Campaigns in the Early Twentieth Century

Labour History Review (2005), 70, (2), 215–229.

Abstract

In the first years of the twentieth century, Scottish social and industrial investigators turned a worried eye toward Ireland as they sought to explain, and propose improvements to, the condition of female outworkers in the garment trades. This research examines the activities of the Scottish Council for Women's Trades and its perspectives on the problem of inter-regional workforce competition, especially between Scottish and Irish workers. The Council identified this competition as a cause of 'sweated' labour in Glasgow and advocated measures to mitigate its impact. This article emphasizes that contemporaries cast their eyes beyond workers in the local labour market as they identified causes and victims of 'sweated labour'.

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Author details

James, Kevin