Marx-Engels Correspondence 1889

Engels to Laura Lafargue


Source: Marx and Engels on the Trade Unions, Edited by Kenneth Lapides;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

August 27, 1889

Another great fact is the Dock Labourers’ strike. They are, as you know, the most miserable of all the miserable of the East End, the broken down ones of all trades, the lowest stratum above the Lumpenproletariat. That these poor famished broken down creatures who bodily fight amongst each other every morning for admission to work, should organise for resistance, turn out 40-50,000 strong, draw after them into the strike all and every trade of the East End in any way connected with shipping, hold out above a week, and terrify the wealthy and powerful dock companies — that is a revival I am proud erlebt zu haben. And they have even bourgeois opinion on their side: the merchants, who suffer severely from this interruption of traffic, do not blame the workmen, but the obstinate Dock companies. So that if they hold out another week they are almost sure of victory.

And all this strike is worked and led by our people, by Burns and Mann, and the Hyndmanites are nowhere in it.