Power and Influence in the TUC: a Quest for Control
The history of trade unionism in Britain illustrates a changing balance between narrow, sectional interests and a broader conception of solidarity and common purpose. This is reflected in the changing structure and organisation of trade unions — in the development of national unions, federations and central organisation from the local associations of skilled workers which provided the basis of trade unionism in the mid-nineteenth century. It can be seen in the shifting emphasis placed on short-term occupational interests compared with political objectives — in the priority accorded to political activity within the Labour Party and elsewhere in relation to industrial methods developed by trade unions to pursue their aims. The locus and distribution of power within the British trade union movement, above all, indicates a pragmatic response to its changing economic and political environment. In particular, it is a reaction to the degree and nature of government intervention in industry and the economy.
KeywordsEconomic Crisis Income Arena Defend Trade Unionism
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