Collective Bargaining and the Emergence of National Employer Organisation in the British Shipbuilding Industry

John C. Lovell
1991 International Review of Social History  
The article takes shipbuilding as a case study in the development of collective bargaining in Britain during the period 1889-1910. During the period shipbuilding employers established an effective national organisation and were successful in drawing the unions into an industry-wide disputes procedure. These developments occurred notwithstanding marked differences in outlook and interest as between the two main centres of activity in the industry, the Clyde and the northeast coast. The more
more » ... ant posture of the Clyde employers towards the unions is examined in relation to a number of key issues -the apprentice and machine questions, managerial prerogative, wage control. In interpreting the general nature of the transition that occurred in the industry's labour relations, the article questions the view that the move to national bargaining was associated with a general commitment to the joint regulation of employment rules. It further suggests that the general level of employer acceptance of trade unionism may have been less than is sometimes assumed. These conclusions may well have a significance beyond the case in question.
doi:10.1017/s002085900011034x fatcat:7q6urltjtjgylj5mbvckrjnmry