Great Dock Strike Banner, 1889

This banner was made for the Great Dock Strike of 1889 when workers sought an extra 6d (2½p) on their wages, the 'dockers tanner'. It was also carried in the Transport Strike of 1912 and the Poplar Rates dispute of 1921.

The technique used to make the banner follows the style of naval flag making. The letter fabric shapes are sewn into corresponding holes cut into the main fabric ground, rather than being sewn onto the surface. Both ground and lettering fabrics are plain woven wool 'bunting'.

Banner of the Seamstress' Union, Oslo

This banner has belonged to the Seamstress' union in Oslo, founded in 1891 as the first union of women in Norway. The banner motive depicts a seamstress at her sewing machine, the main production tool of the women in the industry. Around the turn of the century the seamstresses as a group were embraced with large social interest, and they are portrayed both in literature and art of this period. The seamstresses who worked at home were often exploited by their employers, having lower wages and longer working hours than any other group in the profession.

Banner of the Union for Unskilled Building and Foundation Workers in Stockholm

The first red labour movement banner in Sweden was unfurled in 1883 at the time when the socialist ideas started to be discussed in the trade unions. The red banner was the symbol for unity between the members of the union and to others a message showing pride in the work and the meaning that socialism was the way to reach the goal of freedom, justice and equality.