Labor strike in St. Kitts

The strike in St. Kitts was part of wave of labor uprisings in the British Caribbean colonies in 1930s.

January 29, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
29 Jan 1935_Labor strike in St Kitts

On January 29, 1935, hundreds of Sugar factory workers on St. Kitts island, a British Caribbean colony joined the strike by cane cutters. The sugarcane cutter’s strike began on the previous day against low wages and racism by colonial administration. The sugar industry was the largest employer in St. Kitts.

Soon, a large number of workers joined the strike and entered the yard of Buckley’s sugar planation. As protest grew, the manager of the plantation open fired at the workers, injuring many. By evening, local police and military force arrived and fired on the striking workers. Three labourers — Joseph Samuel, John Allen and James Archibald — were killed and eight others were wounded. Thirty-nine strikers were arrested and six were sentenced to terms of imprisonment of from two to five years. Despite the repression, the strike continued.

The strike in St. Kitts was part of wave of labor uprisings in the British Caribbean colonies in 1930s. The strikes and labor actions paved way for legalization of trade unions and furthering the cause of working class in the Caribbean colonies.

 

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