Copyright/attribution: Jewish Museum London
What do you see?
We see a paper signed by Joseph Finn with the date 1895. We also see a title ‘A Voice from the Aliens’ in bold big letters. What do you see?
What do we know?
This Pamphlet is called ‘A Voice from the Aliens.’ An ‘alien’ is an old-fashioned term used to describe someone living in a different country from their homeland. In this case the word ‘alien’ is referring to the immigrant status of the Jewish workers. The term ‘alien’ is not used today, as many people find it offensive.
This pamphlet was written to invite workers to a protest meeting to make their voices heard about unfair working conditions. Many Jewish immigrant workers had to work long hours for very little pay. Different unions, such as the Jewish Tailors Union and the Jewish Bakers Union, held strikes which helped pave the way for better working conditions such as fair pay and time off.
This pamphlet was presented at the Trade Union Congress held in Cardiff in 1895. This was a large conference of many different unions which was held each year. The pamphlet states that immigrant workers are being scapegoated for all the problems in Britain.
What do you wonder?
We might wonder how many people attended the Trade Union Congress in 1895? We might wonder how people reacted to the immigrant workers’ protest? What do you wonder?
What does the word ‘scapegoat’ mean?
How did unions help immigrant workers?