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Union Organization in Great Britain

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Author Info

  • Alex Bryson
  • P Willman

Abstract

Union membership and density in Britain has experienced substantial decline since 1979. The fall in private sector membership and density has been much greater than in the public sector. The size of the union sector, measured by employer recognition, has shrunk. Membership decline has been accompanied by financial decline. Much of the decline occurred before 1997, under Conservative governments. Since 1997 and the return of a Labour government, the position has in some respects stabilized. Currently, unions have a substantially reduced economic impact, but a continued, if limited, role in workplace communication and grievance handling, often as part of a voice regime including non union elements.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0774.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0774

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: British trade unions; union structure; union membership;

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References

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  1. Andy Charlwood, 2004. "The New Generation of Trade Union Leaders and Prospects for Union Revitalization," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 379-397, 06.
  2. William Brown & Simon Deakin & David Nash & Sarah Oxenbridge, 2000. "The Employment Contract: From Collective Procedures to Individual Rights," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 611-629, December.
  3. John H. Pencavel, 2004. "The Surprising Retreat of Union Britain," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 181-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Metcalf & Kirstine Hansen & Andy Charlwood, 2001. "Unions and the Sword of Justice: Unions and Pay Systems, Pay Inequality, Pay Discrimination and Low Pay," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 176(1), pages 61-75, April.
  5. Willman,Paul & Morris,Tim & Aston,Beverly, 1993. "Union Business," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521417259, October.
  6. Richard Dickens & Alan Manning, 2004. "Has the national minimum wage reduced UK wage inequality?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 167(4), pages 613-626.
  7. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union decline in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20191, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. John W. Budd & Karen Mumford, 2004. "Trade unions and family-friendly policies in Britain," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 204-222, January.
  9. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union Decline in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0455, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Alex Bryson & John Forth & Simon Kirby, 2005. "High-Involvement Management Practices, Trade Union Representation And Workplace Performance In Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(3), pages 451-491, 07.
  11. David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2004. "What Effect Do Unions Have on Wages Now and Would Freeman and Medoff Be Surprised?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 383-414, July.
  12. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 2004. "What Have Two Decades of British Economic Reform Delivered?," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 9-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Adam Seth Litwin, 2000. "Trade unions and industrial injury in Great Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20169, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. David Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2002. "Changes over time in union relative wage effects in the UK and the US revisited," NBER Working Papers 9395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. A. S. Litwin, 2000. "Trade Unions and Industrial Injury in Great Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0468, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. John Forth, 2007. "Workplace Industrial Relations in Britain, 1980-2004," NIESR Discussion Papers 1467, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  2. René Böheim & Martina Zweimüller, 2009. "The employment of temporary agency workers in the UK – with or against the trade unions?," Economics working papers 2009-12, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez & Paul Willman, 2008. "Trading places: employers, unions and the manufacture of voice," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28501, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Walsh, Frank & Strobl, Eric, 2009. "Recent Trends in Trade Union Membership in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(1), pages 117–138.

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