‘Unite in International Solidarity!’ The Call of the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers to ‘Colonial’ and ‘Negro’ Seamen in the Early 1930s

  • Holger WeissEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements book series (PSHSM)


The chapter analyzes the attempts by the maritime section of the Red International of Labour Unions (RLIU/Profintern), the International Propaganda Committee/International Propaganda and Action Committee of Transport Workers in the 1920s and its successor, the 1930-established International of Seamen and Harbour Workers, to engage in anticolonial and anti-imperialist agitation and propaganda work among so-called colonial seamen, i.e., Asian, African and Caribbean maritime workers. The rhetoric used in the various pamphlets and resolutions were sensitive to race and stressed the equal rights of colonial seamen to labor and living conditions. However, in practice, discrimination due to race remained throughout the (short) existence of these organizations an unresolved problem and resulted in but a minority of the colonial seamen to join a Communist labor union.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryÅbo Akademi UniversityTurkuFinland

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