Industrial Relations, Trade Unions and Consultation

  • Arthur Brearley


Still the best definition of a trade union is that of the Trade Union Acts of 1871, 1876 and 1913, the combined effect of which, as the Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers Associations [35] says, is

Any combination, whether temporary or permanent, the principal objects of which are under its constitution statutory objects, namely the regulation of the relations between workmen and masters, or the imposing of restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business and also the provision of benefits to members.

Again there are differences of view, and have been changes of view since the Royal Commission and the Industrial Relations Act of 1971, subsequently repealed and followed by the 1975 and 1976 legislation. The semantics need not concern us for the purposes of this book; the precise definitions used for the figures quoted are available in the original references. Broadly, however, although the above definition could include an employers’ association we do not do so, neither do we include temporary arrangements, and in general we refer to those unions appearing in Department of Employment Statistics and Reports and T.U.C. Reports whether affiliated to the Trades Union Congress or not.


Trade Union Industrial Relation Union Membership Private Industry Royal Commission 
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Copyright information

© Arthur Brearley 1976

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  • Arthur Brearley

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