International Workers’ Day- recommended research resources

May 1 is  International Workers’ Day a celebration of labour and the working classes that is promoted by international labour movement worldwide. Here are some recommended resources for finding out more about this topic:

If you are looking for materials on labour, trade union history and the role of trade unions today – here are some good examples.

  • The Union Makes Us Strong has been created by the TUC Library. It has a timeline of British union history, plus links to full text TUC documents, photographs and posters. There are also guides to further reading for students.
  • We have a wide selection of materials on trade unions available from the library catalogue
  • Other research collections include the extensive holdings of the Modern records centre at the University of Warwick and the Trades Union Congress Library
  • TUC is a national body representing over 50 of Britain’s major unions. Its website has information on campaigns and policy. It also includes sections for workers (on their pension and employment rights).  Note that this does not include all British unions only those affiliated to the TUC. A full register can be found at the Certification Office website which has lists of current registered unions with their annual returns.
  • European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) Includes information on major unions in EU nations and statistics on membership.
  • European Trade Union Federation Represents trade unions in European nations. Its website contains information on recent activity, concerns and worker’s rights in Europe. It also covers European Works Councils. The website has a directory of links to member organisations.
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) us the United Nations agency responsible for labour standards. Its website has useful policy reports and news on industrial relations and workers’ rights. It includes free access to  a number of databases that  cover legislation, policy, health and safety and child labour. There are also extensive collections of online statistics.


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