The Industrial Relations Act and After, 1971–6
It was on 18 June 1970 — one year to the day after Harold Wilson’s capitulation to the T.U.C, over Mrs. Castle’s Industrial Relations Bill — that polling took place in a new general election. On this occasion the Conservatives, under Edward Heath, won a completely unexpected victory with an overall majority of thirty seats. Turnout was lower than since the 1930’s, and it seemed that the Labour Party suffered from abstentions by its regular supporters, perhaps occasioned by the ill-feeling generated by the conflict over union reform. If this was so, the result was to put the unions in an even worse situation. The Conservatives had changed their policy since they were last in office: they now proposed to introduce an Industrial Relations Bill of their own, with the intention of bringing legal restrictions into trade-union affairs far more completely than had been envisaged by Mrs. Castle.
KeywordsTrade Union Industrial Relation Labour Party Income Policy General Council
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