Who is Liz Lazarus?

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Liz Lazarus Biography & Facts

Abraham "Abe" Lazarus (1911–1967) was a leading British Communist activist, charity worker, and anti-fascist, most famous for leading numerous high profile factory strikes in London and Oxford, and for organising communists and Jews to resist the British Union of Fascists. He was also the leader of a protest movement to topple Oxford's Cutteslowe Wall which segregated poor working class communities from wealthier ones. While living in Oxford he led tenant strikes in Cowley, and raised money for refugee children from the Spanish Civil War.Lazarus contracted rheumatic fever during his childhood and this affected his education, because of his condition he was taught at home by his mother. His health recovered in 1928 so he got a job working as a professional driver and a mechanic, later on in 1930 he joined the Hammersmith branch of the Communist Party of Great Britain and became involved in the National Unemployed Workers' Movement. While in London he was often seen selling the Daily Worker outside Belsize Park tube station. In 1933 he led a strike at the Firestone tyre factory and this earned him the nickname 'Bill Firestone'. After the strike he became the South Midlands organiser for the Communist Party. Personal life Lazarus was Jewish by background. He married Mabel Browning in 1937 and together they had one daughter. Mabel worked as a scientific assistant. Lazarus often took his family on holiday to France, but this ended in 1951 when he was deported and forbidden to return. Earlier in February 1951 he had travelled to Czechoslovakia as a guest of the miners' union. In 1953 he attended the 4th World Festival of Youth and Students in Bucharest as a reporter for World News and Views. Pressed Steel strike On Friday 13 July 1934, workers at the Pressed Steel plant in Oxford went on strike. Employees on the night shift in the press shop were paid short on their wages, they stopped work and elected a deputation, consisting of four women and twelve men, to see management the next morning. The deputation was turned down. The following Monday, 100 night shift workers walked out and the deputation became a provisional strike committee. The wife of one of the members of this provisional committee had recalled the Communist Party's assistance during a previous strike in South Wales and, although there were no communists on the committee itself, they decided to approach the local party branch in Oxford for support.At this time there were a number of communists in the factory, many with a history of industrial militancy in South Wales and elsewhere. Communists advised the strike committee to include demands for higher pay, better conditions and trades union recognition. That night, the Communist Party printed 1,000 leaflets to try to extend the strike to other groups in the factory and by Tuesday, 180 workers were on strike. In recognition of the importance of the strike, the party sent Lazarus to Oxford to support the local branch. He came to the city on Tuesday night along with two full-time organisers from the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), and shortly after his arrival Lazarus was made chair of the strike committee.On Thursday 19th, the Oxford & District Trades Council held a special meeting at which they voted to back the strike to "make Pressed Steel 100% union". A 'council of action' was formed and two mass meetings were organised in St Giles. Lazarus addressed both meetings and drew large crowds, the first meeting on Friday had 1,000 people and the second on Sunday attracted over 3,000 people. The strikers put forward four demands: Abolition of all piecework 1s 6d flat rate bonus for all departments No victimisation Trade union recognitionOn Monday 23rd, the strike committee met with management for the first time. After two hours, they returned with a printed statement signed by Otto Müeller the managing director. Lazarus translated it into more understandable English. There was no reference to wages and conditions and a refusal to recognise the union. The statement was unanimously rejected and a new set of demands was agreed by the strikers who by Wednesday numbered nearly 1,000.The strike had also gained support within the local community. The Trades Council donated £150 to the strike fund, the strike committee independently raised £100 on its own, while the TGWU itself contributed £300. A soup kitchen had been set up by Cowley Labour Party women, the Oxford branch of the NUWM collected food and money, and the Oxford Co-operative Society set up a system of vouchers for the strikers. Railway workers were asked not to move parts from the factory, and workers in other car plants in Dagenham, Coventry and Birmingham refused to handle goods from Pressed Steel. General Secretary of the TGWU Ernest Bevin intervened behind the scenes, appealing to the factory management to accept the strikers' demands. Pressed Steel was also coming under increasing pressure to fulfill orders and get production moving again. By Saturday 28th the factory management had capitulated, and on Monday 30th the strikers returned to work with a guaranteed basic hourly rate, no victimization and full union recognition. 1,500 workers joined unions at the factory. In recognition of his role in the strike, the Unite office in Oxford was officially named Abe Lazarus House in 2013. Florence Park Oxford's population grew rapidly in the 1920s and 1930s as people were brought in to work at the Morris Motors and Pressed Steel factories. Organisation in the factories increased the profile of the Communist Party and led to its involvement in non-industrial disputes, such as struggles over housing conditions. Many of the new workers at Pressed Steel moved onto the recently built Florence Park estate in Cowley, there was such a large in-migration from South Wales that the area was dubbed 'little Rhondda'. These workers also brought with them a tradition of collective involvement in the labour movement, they were inclined to organisation and militancy. Lazarus was called upon when issues arose with the quality of their new homes. The estate had been established in 1934 on the land of George Allen who owned the Steam Plough factory nearby. He had been refused permission to extend the factory onto what was at the time boggy farmland but planning permission was given for Frederick Moss to build 600 houses there. The houses were built in a hurry by unqualified labourers on muddy land, and this meant they were very poorly constructed. Tenants complained of unsanitary living conditions and they commissioned an architectural report which upheld their grievances.On hearing of the problems tenants were facing Lazarus made his way to the tenant manager’s office, he spoke to the residents and a large crowd formed. Lazarus suggested they retire to the Pembroke Hall, where a committee was organised and a large campaign was launched. Daily meetings were held, culminating in a march of 200 people on .... Discover the Liz Lazarus popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Liz Lazarus books.

Best Seller Liz Lazarus Books of December 2021

Plea for Justice book summary, reviews and downlod

Plea for Justice

4.5/5$5.99

Jackie Siegel and Aaron Slater were an odd pair in high school. He was the popular jock and she was the introverted geek, but their friendship endured until graduation, when he suddenly dump...

Free of Malice book summary, reviews and downlod

Free of Malice

4.5/5$5.99

Laura Holland awakes in the middle of the night to see a stranger standing in her bedroom doorway. She manages to defend herself from the would-be rapist, though he threatens to return as he...

Best Seller Liz Lazarus Audio Books of December 2021

Shades of Silence (Unabridged) MP3 Audiobook

Shades of Silence (Unabridged)

Mysteries & Thrillers$17.99

Julianna Sandoval is living in limbo. Her husband’s plane has vanished over the Atlantic Ocean, and although the Coast Guard has suspended the search, she clings to hope that he’ll still...

Plea for Justice (Unabridged) MP3 Audiobook

Plea for Justice (Unabridged)

Mysteries & Thrillers$17.99

Plea for Justice is a psychological, legal thriller by Liz Lazarus, told in alternating viewpoints by “Jackie", a paralegal in pursuit of justice, and “Me", a terrifying killer wi...

Free of Malice (Unabridged) MP3 Audiobook

Free of Malice (Unabridged)

Mysteries & Thrillers$21.99

Loosely based on the personal experience of author Liz Lazarus, Free of Malice is an addictive audiobook full of drama and suspense with unexpected twists. In Atlanta...

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