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This article will explore one of the most significant strikes by migrant workers in Britain during the 1970s and the subsequent company closure the year after their victory. In May 1974, a predominantly South Asian workforce at the Imperial Typewriter Company in Leicester went on strike over unequal bonus payments and discrimination in promotion. The shop stewards committee and Transport & General Workers Union branch refused their support and the workforce split partly on racial lines. The strikers stayed on strike for almost 14 weeks until they emerged victorious. Though it appears as a central reference point in histories of migrant experience in Britain, the strike and closure has garnered little systematic, primary research. This article will fill this gap through the use of published sources and extensive unused archival deposits. During the strike part of the largely South Asian workforce sought to break with the racialized division of the workforce between different groups, skill levels, and work-types. Almost immediately after the strike ended in victory the company announced its intention to close down the vast majority of its British production. In Hull 1400 jobs were lost and in Leicester over 1600 were to go. This article shows that whilst the strike might have been the start of a politically, culturally, and intellectually significant period of significant protagonism by Britain's first-generation black and racialized working class, it also marked the beginning of the end of an industrial model dependent on the hyper-exploitation and racialized subordination of their labor. The closure was framed by contemporaries and subsequent historical accounts as a dispute marked more by the end of empire than worker obsolescence. As an article in the Guardian on the closure of the plants was put it in January 1975, it was ‘The day that Imperial&s empire fell'. Yet it might be more accurate to understand the strike as an early premonition of the globalisation of manufacturing production which was to emerge strongly in the 1980s and 1990s. The experience of Imperial Typewriters highlights the central importance of racialized labour hierarchies and immigrant counter-militancy in post-war Britain. The Imperial Typewriter Company provides a case study of how worker resistance to labour intensive modes of capital accumulation, in relatively low capital intensive industries, during a global crisis of capitalist profitability, was followed by the decision of a multinational corporation to immediately transfer its production overseas. The closure of Imperial Typewriters therefore offers a means to reconceptualize how we understand the 1970s as a period of interlocking crises, as well as the major shift of power from labour to multinational capital which emerged in its wake. The findings of this article indicate that British workers were significantly disempowered before the electoral victory of Margaret Thatcher in 1979. Recentering labor conflict in the history of technological obsolescence can offer alternative perspectives on why the British left and trade unions were unable to resist the rise of neoliberalism.
This article seeks to understand how experiences of time change after influential social groups and institutions are disempowered. By analysing the response of a wide range of actors to key disputes at car manufacturer Fiat between 1979 and 1980, it suggests that changing conceptions of time came to register Fiat workers’ disempowerment within Italian society during the late twentieth century. A new present-centric sense of time came to predominate amongst laid-off Fiat worker activists, while a future-orientated sense grew amongst company managers. With a feeling of loosening connection with the immediate past and anxiety about the future, an indefinite present became the point of departure for workers’ inquiries into the past. The history of the Italian workers’ movement after 1980 shows the inextricable link between undermining collective organisation, delegitimising shared experiences of time, and the plausibility of transformative visions of the future.
We characterized the impact of removal of the ESBL designation from microbiology reports on inpatient antibiotic prescribing. Definitive prescribing of carbapenems decreased from 48.4% to 16.1% (P = .01) and β-lactam–β-lactamase inhibitor combination increased from 19.4% to 61.3% (P = .002). Our findings confirm the importance of collaboration between microbiology and antimicrobial stewardship programs.