British Unions in Decline: An Examination of the 1980s Fall in Trade Union Recognition
AbstractThe authors analyze establishment-level data from the three Workplace Industrial Relations Surveys of 1980, 1984 and 1990 to document and explain the sharp decline in unionization that occurred in Britain over the 1980s. Between 1980 and 1990 the proportion of British establishments which recognised manual or non-manual trade unions for collective bargaining over pay and conditions fell by almost 20 percent (from 0.67 to 0.54). The evidence reported demonstrates the importance of the interaction between the labour market, the product market, employer behaviour and the legislative framework in determining union recognition status in new establishments. The sharp fall in trade union recognition appears to be largely driven by a failure to achieve recognition status in establishments set up in the 1980s. These results, when taken in conjunction with recent changes in the nature of employment in the British labour market, seem to paint a bleak picture for unions and there appears to be no reason why the decline in union activity should not continue into the 1990s.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University College London in its series Open Access publications from University College London with number http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/16964/.
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Industrial and Labor Relations Review (1995) v.48, p.403-419
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.ucl.ac.uk
Other versions of this item:
- Richard Disney & Amanda Gosling & Stephen Machin, 1994. "British unions in decline: an examination of the 1980s fall in trade union recognition," IFS Working Papers W94/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Richard Disney & Amanda Gosling & Stephen Machin, 1994. "British Unions in Decline: An Examination of the 1980s Fall in Trade Union Recognition," NBER Working Papers 4733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2012. "Union Decline in Britain: Is Chauvinism Also to Blame?," IZA Discussion Papers 6536, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Stephen Machin, 2000.
"Union Decline in Britain,"
British Journal of Industrial Relations,
London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 631-645, December.
- Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
- Machin, Stephen, 1997. "The decline of labour market institutions and the rise in wage inequality in Britain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 647-657, April.
- Blanchflower, David G., 2006. "A Cross-Country Study of Union Membership," IZA Discussion Papers 2016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kieron Jones).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.