[ B&W shipyard on Refshale Island]

B&W shipyard on Refshale Island

Burmeister & Wain was established back in 1843 as a machine shop. The shipyard at Refshaleøen in the Port of Copenhagen was built in 1872. It is unrivalled as Denmark's prime example of a world-class industrial company. For many years it was the largest workplace in the country. It was a political hotbed where employees and employers locked horns in terms of political commitment and influence. The company was also an international leader at developing new ships and ship engines. Burmeister & Wain built the first ocean-going motor vessel, Selandia, in 1912. The engineering department also developed the world's largest diesel engine for the H.C. Ørstedværket Power Plant, where it still stands today.

Union men

  • Story written by: Jacob Bjerring-Hansen
  • Time / Periode 1872

The workers at Burmeister & Wain became famous as the vanguard of the unions. This was partly because the first proper strike took place at B&W in 1871. The company was huge. The union could send enormous numbers of B&W workers out into the streets, and they could exert great influence in the national trade unions. Most characteristic for Burmeister & Wain workers was that membership of a union was an important source of community spirit on a day-to-day level. The same was true of political affiliations. An oil painting by Anker Landberg from 1952 clearly shows the professional, social and political self-awareness among Burmeister & Wain workers. The picture is entitled Welders at B&W". A worker reading (in glasses), who is at peace with himself (the pipe), looks us proudly in the eye. "

Read more about B&W shipyard on Refshale Island at 1001fortællinger.dk