From the onset of the Industrial Revolution, working men and women have been withholding their labour as a means of bargaining for better pay and conditions.
A widespread workers' consciousness formed in the UK from the peak of the Chartist movement in the 1830s, leading to a wave of strikes in 1842. Those strikes have been viewed as the first time that a large body of workers organised themselves in a politically-motivated action to win concessions.
However, official statistics on strikes weren't collected until 1891. Since that time, strikes have become a frequent fixture in industrial relations in the UK, sometimes changing the landscape of our society.