Transport labour has been a fundamental feature in every economic system and in every epoch of humanity worldwide. This volume considers the history of labour in transport from 1750 to 1950, in the context of globalisation and the evolution of capitalism. The nine articles presented in this collective work span these two centuries and address a largely neglected aspect of labour history in transport: the stories from the Global South (Africa, Asia and Latin America). The transport sectors touched upon in these studies are wide-ranging, encompassing a variety of workers, from porters to boatmen in India, from Mongolian caravanners to Filipino rickshaw drivers, from truck drivers to postal runners in west Africa, from wage-earning slave porters to immigrant railway workers in the cities of Brazil. These histories from the South are a constitutive part of the global history of labour.
Introduction: labour in transport: histories from the Global South (Africa, Asia, and Latin America), c.1750 to 1950 Stefano Bellucci, Larissa Rosa Correa, Jan-Georg Deutsch and Chitra Joshi; 1. Contract, work and resistance: boatmen in early colonial eastern India, 1760s-1850s Nitin Sinha; 2. Getting away with murder: the wrongful deaths of Lascars aboard the Union in 1802 James W. Frey; 3. Holy rollers: monasteries, Lamas, and the unseen transport of Chinese-Russian trade, 1850-1911 Devon Dear; 4. Empire on their backs: coolies in the Eastern borderlands of the British Raj Lipokmar Dzuvichu; 5. Free and unfree labour and ethnic conflicts in the Brazilian transport work: Rio de Janeiro in the nineteenth century Paulo Cruz Terra; 6. Rickshaws and Filipinos: transnational meanings of technology and labour in American-occupied Manila Michael D. Pante; 7. The first great railway strike: a new perspective on the early labour movement in Sao Paulo Guilherme Grandi; 8. Motor transportation, trade unionism and the culture of work in colonial Ghana Jennifer Hart; 9. 'Human telephone lines': flag post mail relay runners in British Southern Cameroon (1916-1955) and the establishment of a modern communications network Walter Gam Nkwi and Mirjam de Bruijn.