Guard your interests and read the Worker': The rise and demise of the Worker, mouthpiece of the South African Labour party

Guard your interests and read the Worker': The rise and demise of the Worker, mouthpiece of the South African Labour party

Visser W. ; Visser W. (2011)

Article

Article

In the run-up to the unification of South Africa labour politics were decentralised in the four British colonies. In order to voice the opinions of the South African white working-class and to promote the political amalgamation of the various labour and socialist parties and trade unions before union and the first national general election of 1910, The Worker was established in January 1909, originally under the auspices of the South African Typographical Union. The paper was followed by the founding of the South African Labour Party (SALP) in October 1909. The Worker then became the party's official mouthpiece. This article traces the rise of The Worker and the financial difficulties experienced by the management board to keep it solvent. The working class politics espoused by the paper and some counter-reactions to its editorial policies will also be investigated. By taking a militant editorial stance during the industrial strikes of 1913 and 1914, The Worker reached the zenith of its influence among the white working class. However, by October 1914 the economic consequences of the First World War would eventually force the paper to close due to paper shortages and insurmountable debts. Finally, the article also concentrates on the unsuccessful efforts to revive The Worker as mouthpiece of the SALP. © 2011 Southern African Historical Society.

In the run-up to the unification of South Africa labour politics were decentralised in the four British colonies. In order to voice the opinions of the South African white working-class and to promote the political amalgamation of the various labour and socialist parties and trade unions before union and the first national general election of 1910, The Worker was established in January 1909, originally under the auspices of the South African Typographical Union. The paper was followed by the founding of the South African Labour Party (SALP) in October 1909. The Worker then became the party's official mouthpiece. This article traces the rise of The Worker and the financial difficulties experienced by the management board to keep it solvent. The working class politics espoused by the paper and some counter-reactions to its editorial policies will also be investigated. By taking a militant editorial stance during the industrial strikes of 1913 and 1914, The Worker reached the zenith of its influence among the white working class. However, by October 1914 the economic consequences of the First World War would eventually force the paper to close due to paper shortages and insurmountable debts. Finally, the article also concentrates on the unsuccessful efforts to revive The Worker as mouthpiece of the SALP. © 2011 Southern African Historical Society.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/16871
http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/16871
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