The London Match Girls Strike of 1888


Members of the Matchmakers Union who went on strike at the Bryant and May's factory in London. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The London Match Girls Strike of 1888 was an important labor rights event in Britain. Women and girls working in a match factory took a stand against hazardous and unfair working conditions, and impacted organized labor in the process. Although writer and activist Annie Besant is often credited with the strike's success — and she did break the story — the "match girls'" own advocacy was a victory for working women.

Topics in this Podcast: labor, women's rights, 19th century, women, London, Great Britain