Records of the Yorkshire County Committee of the National Union of Agricultural Workers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Minute books and correspondence mostly concerning agricultural wages and holidays and includes some press cuttings. Also includes an accounts book (1920-1946).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Yorkshire County Committee of the National Union of Agricultural Workers was a trade union representing agricultural workers across Yorkshire, which campaigned for employee rights and working conditions.

The National Union of Agricultural Workers was the first successful national body for farm workers, presided over by Joseph Arch. It began as the National Agricultural Labourers' Union in 1872 before changing to the National Union of Agricultural Workers in July 1906.

In 1910 the organisation changed its name to the 'National Agricultural Labourers and Rural Workers Union' before it changed again in 1920 to the National Union of Agricultural Worker (NUAW). This name then remained until the union was amalgamated with the Transport & General Workers Union (TGWU) in 1982.

NUAW membership was largely made up of farm agricultural labourers but also catered for non-farm workers such as those in forestry, market gardening, gardeners, etc. The union's stronghold was in Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Dorset with over 90% of agricultural labourers being in membership.

In 1910 major strikes and disputes broke out in the Norfolk villages of Trunch, Knapton and St Faith's. At St Faith's, the 105 union men were on strike from May 1910 until February 1911 for 1 shilling a week extra. The union had its own journal called 'The Landworker'. The TGWU then became part of UNITE in 2007 after its merger with Amicus.

Conditions Governing Access

Material is available subject to the usual terms and conditions of access to Archives and Local History collections.

Other Finding Aids

More detailed finding aids for this collection can be found online by searching the Explore website ( www.exploreyork.org.uk)

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Francesca Taylor, Community Collections Assistant, September 2014.

Conditions Governing Use

Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.