Assessment and implications for the future
In this chapter answers are attempted to the questions posed in the introduction to this book, and changes which have taken place since 1979 and their implications for the future are assessed. The first section surveys the changes in the environment of industrial relations, be they political, economic or social. Next the changes in the objectives, policies and structure of the two parties — unions and employers — are considered. Then the changes in institutions and procedures, in private and public sector pay, in productivity, and changes in the law, including such issues as strikes, recognition, the closed shop and the check-off are assessed. Finally, the future agenda for industrial relations, the effects of greater EU integration and the Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty are looked at, as is the election of a Labour Government in May 1997 after 18 years of Conservative rule.
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