Defence Industry Diversification and Conversion (II)

  • Peter Southwood


Trade unions have, from time to time since 1945, taken the initiative in propounding ways of achieving defence industry diversification, if not conversion. However, it was only with the public launching of the Lucas Aerospace Combine Shop Stewards Committee’s alternative Corporate Plan in January 1976 that the potential role of the trade union movement in conversion caught the imagination of a part of the Western peace and labour movements. The UK became the launch pad for a new labour-oriented approach to conversion that was to exert a profound influence throughout Western Europe and North America in particular, and was a major factor behind the growth of international conversion activities from the mid-1970s onwards. Labour unions have both written themselves, and commissioned work from radical academics, on defence industry conversion. While the spread of these new ideas is still at an early stage, and has met with considerable hostility or indifference from some quarters of the union movement, an analysis of the significance of these developments is clearly called for.


Trade Union Collective Bargaining Alternative Product Industrial Democracy Peace Movement 
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Notes and Reference

  1. 24.
    See Marion Anderson, The Impact of Military Spending on the Machinists Union ( Lancing, USA, January 1979 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter M. Southwood 1991

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  • Peter Southwood

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