Antagonistic Constitutionalism: The Electric Traction Co.
The Electric Traction Co. fits fairly closely to the popular image of an American multinational with its emphasis on control systems, budgetary and performance targets and constant pressure to maximise efficient working time. This is partly corporate style: ‘the pursuit of excellence’, passed down from New York; and partly a conscious need to maintain control over unit costs while pressing for high-quality standards in order to survive in the highly competitive world-wide market of agricultural machinery. Corporate style and the competitive market place have always been major influences on the conduct of industrial relations in this company. A further factor was the way in which the company developed in the postwar years. The three production plants (the UK head office is in London) opened one after the other over a period of seventeen years as demand grew. The first plant — the No. 1 Works — opened just after the war in a northern industrial town (referred to as Brotherton) and now employs approximately 2250 manual workers, including 400 in the foundry.
KeywordsTrade Union Labour Relation Industrial Relation Income Policy Agenda Meeting
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