Union Business: Trade Union Organisation and Financial Reform in the Thatcher Years

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-06-10
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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It is fashionable to speak of trade unions in the UK as organizations in decline. However, it is their organization and, in particular, their financial status, that ultimately dictates unions' ability to survive, recruit and influence employers. This book provides the first systematic picture of union financial status for thirty years, and reveals a dramatic picture. Though, overall, unions have become financially less healthy in the postwar period, many unions experienced an improved financial position during the membership contraction of the Thatcher years. The authors also show that the long term financial decline of unions has been affected more by competition among unions for membership, than by the effects of traumatic industrial disputes.

Table of Contents

Introduction: unions in the 1980s
The financial status of British trade unions 1950-1989
Financial differences between unions
The role of financial matters in union organisation
The politics of union finances
Union size, growth and financial performance
Strike activity and union finances
The National Union of Mineworkers: strikes and financial disaster
The GMB: merger and financial reform
The Amalgamated Engineering Union: back from the brink
The Banking, Insurance and Finance Union: competitive unionism and financial survival
The Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Trade Union: accountability and financial control
Conclusions: union business and business unionism
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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