The Government Takes Over 1914–1919

  • Eric Wigham


Management rights, like most other rights, cease to exist in time of war. In a strange new world, the Federation, which had defended employers’ prerogatives with such determination, had in the national interest to surrender them without a struggle to a new usurper. It was the Government more and more which decided who should work where, what they should be paid, how workers’ revolts should be dealt with. Not only could the Government insist that their interpretation of the national interest must have priority over all else but they were the paymasters, the customers for most of the industry’s products. Employers developed a feeling of helplessness. The Federation made protests at the lack of consultation which grew more and more frequent as the war progressed, and from time to time the frustration of members and local associations exploded into angry recriminations against the Federation or the Government or both, caused not only by the loss of authority but also by the muddle and lack of coordination of government labour policy.


Minimum Wage Management Committee Local Association Government Work Government Power 
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Copyright information

© Engineering Employers’ Federation 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Wigham

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