A hundred years ago, in April 1962, the Iron Trades Employers’ Association was formed to organise collective resistance to firm-by-firm demands by the engineering unions. Today, strangely and unexpectedly, employers find themselves in many respects back where they started. The manual workers’ Procedure for avoiding disputes, pride of the industry since 1898, disappeared at the end of last year. The manual workers’ unions have broken off national negotiations and are once again attempting to pick off employers one by one, or in some areas returning to the district claims which were once the rule. At the same time a new Industrial Relations Act has reduced the immunities of those unions which decline to register to something like the level they possessed after the legislation of the 1870s. And the maintenance of full employment, which has so affected the balance of industrial power since the Second World War, has apparently ceased to be the top priority for governments of either party.
KeywordsCollective Action Manual Worker Industrial Relation Advisory Service Member Firm
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