One big union? : structural change in building trade unionism
Druker, J. (Jan) (1980) One big union? : structural change in building trade unionism. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1752226~S15
Various publications have focussed attention on the building
trade unions, usually with the aim of presenting an account
of the history of an individual union. In most of them it
has been assumed that one union for the building industry was
the real and realisable objective of many of the actors in
that history. The object of this thesis is to assess the
validity of that assumption in the light of discussions on
structural change within and between the unions concerned.
The work takes the form of a historical account spanning the
years of the twentieth century. It is based on surviving
documentation and interviews with former officials of the
Firstly it is argued that changes in the labour process were
a necessary pre—requisite for changes in trade union structure.
The labour process is defined according to its specific
social form, that is as a capitalist process of production
and emphasis is placed on capital formation, on government
policy, on the level of technology and on the division of
labour within the construction industry, as factors which
explain the long survival of a craft form of trade union
organisation. Attention is directed to changes in the form
of engagement of labour, to the emergence of labour—only
sub—contracting, and its significance for trade union organisation
Secondly it is suggested that there is a close relationship
between trade union government and trade union structure.
Adjustments to the shape and size of trade unions are used
by their leaders to foster their own authority and status
within the emergent organisation.
It is concluded that these factors were more important in
motivating changes than any commitment to a particular form
of trade union organisation.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Construction workers -- Labor unions -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century, Construction industry -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century|
|Official Date:||September 1980|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Warwick Business School|
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