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Trade Unions in Britain - Essay Example

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Trade Unions in Britain

The trade unions in Britain traditionally had a system in which the bargaining was based on industries. This gave the trade unions a sense of institutional security in their operations within the private sector. By 1950, approximately 60% of the workers in the private sector were under collective agreements that had their origins outside their firm of employment. Several events and developments however combined to cause the decline of the trade unions and their influence (Fernie & Metcalf 202). The decline of the trade unions in Britain began in the years since 1979. This was after the election of Margaret Thatcher’s government that had conservative policies that were aimed at weakening the trade unions (Wrigley 2002, p40). This decline followed a period of rapid growth and increase in membership and influence in the 1950s. The collapse of the trade unions could therefore be anticipated following the decline experienced. There were several factors that contributed to the decline and the eventual collapse of the trade unions. ...
The decline in the unions was also seen in the collective bargaining influence which was said to have declined from 70% to 40% in the years between 1980 and 1998 (Brown et al. 2003, p199). The future of the trade unions in Britain has largely been discussed. The discussion in based on the impact that the trade unions are expected to have in the future, and whether the trade unions are expected to grow or face a decline. The purpose that the trade unions serve has also come under scrutiny. It is however important to understand the role that the trade unions are expected to play so that one can understand the impact that they are likely to have in the country. It is also important to understand the crucial role that is played by the trade union and their function in the country. The 1999 Employment Relations Act in Britain was a significant step in marking the recovery of the political influence held by the trade unions. This came after many years of exclusion from the process of policy making. The act has also been important in that it has stimulated the increase in the organization of unions, and helped the trade unions in getting recognition from the employers. The act has also paved way for the trade unions to adopt policies that are aimed at increasing their membership across all sectors of the economy. There are however many limitations to the influence that trade unions wield on the Labor government in Britain. While the trade unions have an opportunity to engage the government in dialogue over various labor policies, the government often ignores many of the ideas and representations of the trade unions. The trade unions also find it ...Show more

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Trade Unions in Britain Professor Institution Date Trade unions in Britain Trade unions are organizations of workers that have come together with the purposes of achieving common goals. The common goals include better working conditions and better salaries…
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