This chapter focuses on migrant labourers. Here, millions of humble Londoners from Europe and other parts of the world have formed the backbone, skeleton, and flesh and blood of the city's life. It shows how the concept of cheap labour, associated not only with sugar bakers but, more especially, with Jewish ‘sweaters’, arose especially in clothing, shoe, and hat and cap manufacture in the East End before 1914. Cheap labour offers one explanation for the evolution of the concentrations of ethnic labour because, for example, the sugar bakers actually formed part of a migrant employment network, which brought Germans from Hanover in particular to work in this occupation. These networks have characterized numerous other migrant occupations in the metropolis, from German governesses to Irish builders and West Indian bus drivers.
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