Chapter 4 explains how the Conservative Governments under Thatcher and Major mounted their ultimately highly successful attack on collective industrial relations. The chapter identifies two basic tenets of neoliberalism that significantly narrow the grounds for defending collective industrial relations, particularly once it strays beyond the function of setting pay and near-pay terms and conditions. One the one hand, neoliberalism equates the public interest with the satisfaction of the demands of the market. On the other, it supposes that the role of management is to identify those demands and to ensure that businesses conform with them. Together, these arguments add up to a justification for policy that reduces the legitimate role of organised labour in economic life to almost nothing.


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Copyright information

© Conor Cradden 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Conor Cradden
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut d’études politiques et internationalesUniversity of LausanneSwitzerland

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