Federation Rule 1898–1914

  • Eric Wigham


From the end of the lock-out until the beginning of the First World War the Federation dominated the engineering scene. They had acquired prestige and self-confidence such as probably no previous employers’ organisation had known, while the ASE had suffered a blow to their morale from which they were slow to recover. Their losses in membership and funds were restored in a few years, but the effect of the terms of settlement resulted in a continuing internal conflict. The union executive did their best to enforce the terms, but the district committees grew more and more restive and rebellious. In the past they had been largely autonomous, making their own working rules, which differed from district to district, and carrying on their own negotiations. They found themselves suddenly in a strait jacket of national control. Where they could not reach local agreement, their disputes had to go up through the Procedure to the national leaders. Where they attempted to persevere with their old policies, for instance by opposing piece-work or trying to limit the number of apprentices or interfering with the manning of machines, they found themselves ordered by their own national officials to stop it. They found even their wage negotiations subject to central conference rulings and national agreements were negotiated which the men repudiated and resented.


Trade Union Collective Bargaining Local Association Trade Dispute Parliamentary Committee 
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Copyright information

© Engineering Employers’ Federation 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Wigham

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