Inflation and Frustration 1948–1957

  • Eric Wigham


The decade from 1948 to 1957 was the most frustrating in the history of the Federation. Continuous full employment and shortages of labour, particularly skilled workers, resulted in annual demands for higher pay or shorter hours or both. The Federation’s history became a history of almost continuous wage negotiations against a background of chronic inflation and periodic economic crises, accompanied by Government appeals for restraint and numerous efforts to stimulate higher productivity. Several times the Federation nerved itself to resist trade union pressures, even at the cost of a national stoppage of work, but each time the Government, unwilling to face the consequences of a major struggle, pulled the carpet from under their feet at the last moment. The result was a series of humiliating anticlimaxes.


Skilled Worker Wage Increase Union Leader Board Meeting Wage Structure 
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Copyright information

© Engineering Employers’ Federation 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Wigham

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