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The Growth of Industrial Relations

  • Leslie Hannah

Abstract

The expansion of the supply industry, and especially of its commercial and distribution sides, made increasing calls on the labour market in the inter-war years. There was a ready pool of unemployed labour from which it could draw unskilled men, and in most areas supply undertakings had little difficulty in attracting skilled craftsmen to the secure and relatively well paid jobs in the industry. For most of the inter-war years there were skilled electricians unemployed and on the books of the Labour Exchanges, though later in the period cutbacks in apprenticeship training and growing competition from the expanding engineering trades reduced the available pool. Estimates of the number of workers employed by the industry are difficult to interpret in that they sometimes include those employed in railway or tramway power-stations but exclude some local authority employees. The numbers directly employed by the supply undertakings on generation and distribution probably grew from around 20,000 in 1907 to 36,000 in 1922 and 109,000 in 1938.1 In addition there were some Town Hall staff working on accounts for the supply undertakings, and perhaps several thousand men directly employed by the undertakings on capital construction projects.2 Even when this additional employment is considered, however, it is evident that the industry was capital- rather than labour-intensive.

Keywords

Collective Bargaining Manual Worker Industrial Relation Electricity Supply Supply Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes on the Text

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Copyright information

© The Electricity Council 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Hannah
    • 1
  1. 1.Emmanuel CollegeCambridgeUK

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