IN the records of individual unions, these national movements occupy only a very small part. Sectional concerns with trade affairs and friendly benefits fill most of the pages in their minute-books and annual reports. Their national executives were gradually acquiring more control over trade affairs, but bargaining on these matters continued to be at branch and workshop level; it was not until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that national negotiations and agreements developed, leading to a much greater loss of local autonomy. But, of course, behind the branches and workshops were the financial resources, control and negotiating skill of the union executives and general secretaries. Although many societies were still on a local or district level, and sometimes very small, the trend was towards amalgamation and bigger unions.
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