“STRIKE, BUT HEAR ME!”
Title:"Strike, But Hear Me!"
Date:April 6th, 1861
Keywords:morality, politics, work
This satirical Punch intervention into industrial relations is addressed to working people, urging them to consider their actions if they are to go on strike. In particular it suggests that foreign companies will gain a foothold in the British economy if industrial action affect productivity, and predicts financial penury and hunger for the working classes if they allow themselves to be whipped up by political activists. Industrial unrest was increasing at this time as a downturn in the economy began and memories of the previous decade’s major disputes such as the Preston Strike (1853-54) were strong. The irony here is that, within months of this poem being published, many of the social effects listed here became commonplace on the streets of Lancashire, caused by the Cotton Famine.