Women Workers and the Trade Unions

9 Women Workers and TUsIn this highly-praised book, Sarah Boston recounts the story of women workers from the early nineteenth century to the present day: the struggles and strikes, successes and failures in their strenuous efforts to organise and win recognition from employers and male trade unionists. Women Workers and the Trade Unions – now republished with the addition of two new chapters – is the only comprehensive account of this neglected overlap of women’s history and labour history.

In this enlightening history, Sarah Boston argues that male trade unionists’ exclusionary treatment of women workers contradicted not only the socialist aims of most trade unions but also the very logic of trade unionism itself. The account is essential reading for anyone concerned with the history of industrial relations, but also with the history of feminism and of women in the workplace.

‘It is very good news for anyone interested in British trade unionism that Sarah Boston has updated in depth her excellent history of women workers and the British trade unions. Well-researched, shrewd and lucid, it fills a major gap in the history of modern British trade unionism providing a detailed and reliable account.’ Chris Wrigley, Emeritus Professor of History, Nottingham University

Sarah Boston is an award winning documentary film maker and author and has been a trade union member (ACTT/BECTU) since 1967.  Her experience in the early 1970s when she, with a small group of women, challenged their union’s discriminatory practices, led her to embark on research into other unions and their history.

Women Workers and the Trade Unions is published by Lawrence and Wishart and available from book shops now. Sarah Boston will also be at Napo’s AGM where she will take part in a fringe meeting and also be signing copies of the book on the afternoon of Friday 16 October (Eastbourne).



  1. Please just send me a link to NAPO News! Not all the articles separately! You are cligging up my Inbox!

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Sorry about that – currently the site notifies followers when ever an article is posted and when we ‘publish’ the new articles you get them one after another. This will be changing shortly as we will not be doing a publication in one go but will be updating the online news regularly … I hope that will help. Kath Falcon

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