Saturday, November 17, 2012
Espousing the idea of cooperatives as a way for workers to maintain control over their own labor and the profits thereof, Webb wrote The Cooperative Movement in Great Britain in 1891 after doing extensive research on the topic. And a few years after that, she co-wrote a history of trade unionism with her husband as the first in a whole series of books they wrote together. Lest we imagine that her husband carried the weight, however, we need to note that it was Webb herself who coined the term "collective bargaining," a practice by which workers unite to more effectively negotiate with their bosses.
By 1919, she was publishing on other topics, such as Men and Women's Wages: Should They Be Equal? And as she aged, having not borne biological offspring, Webb was quoted as saying that she considered the London School of Economics and a highly successful periodical entitled The New Statesman as her symbolic children. Sometimes, an in-your-face woman socially reproduces herself as a way of leaving her mark on the future. Beatrice Webb was satisfied with that.