Concept

Ulster Unionist Labour Association

Résumé
The Ulster Unionist Labour Association (UULA) was an association of trade unionists founded by Edward Carson in June 1918, aligned with the Ulster Unionists in Ireland. Members were known as Labour Unionists. In Britain, 1918 and 1919 were marked by intense class conflict. This phenomenon spread to Ireland, the whole of which was part of the United Kingdom at the time. This period also saw a large increase in trade union membership and a series of strikes. These union activities raised fears in a section of the Ulster Unionist leadership, principally Edward Carson and R. Dawson Bates. Carson at this time was president of the British Empire Union, and had been predisposed to amplify the danger of a Bolshevik outbreak in Britain. The Ulster Unionist Labour Association was made up of trade unionists and Ulster Unionists and was founded by Carson along with J. M. Andrews as a means of instigating a purge from the local trade union movement of 'Bolsheviks' and republicans. Both Carson and Bates feared this class conflict and the development of a militant Sinn Féin would threaten the class alliance with dissolution which had been embodied in the old Ulster Volunteers. By sounding the counter-revolutionary alarm, it would be a call to "loyal workers" against the twin threats of socialism and republicanism. The grouping adopted as formal policy an opposition to socialism, but was seen by many as an attempt to show that the Unionist Party had the interests of the working class at heart. Members included Tommy Henderson, later an independent Unionist member of parliament. During the 1918 general election the aims of the UULA were set out by Bates. In a letter to Carson he stated that they would be used as a means of distracting younger members of the working class from the Independent Labour Party, who held views which were very different from their own organisation, i.e. socialism. The Belfast Labour Party put four candidates forward, but they lost out to two UULA and two Unionist candidates.
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