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Union Decline in Britain

  • Stephen Machin

This paper considers the rapid decline in unionization that has occurred in Britain since the late 1970s. The overwhelming factor underpinning falling unionization was a failure to organize new establishments set up in the last twenty years or so, thus confirming that developments since 1990 represent a continuation of the pattern revealed in earlier work for the 1980-90 period. The sharpest falls in unionization occurred in private manufacturing establishments set up after 1980. Finally, there is some evidence that it is age of workplace, rather than age of worker, that is the critical age-based factor behind union decline. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd/London School of Economics 2000.

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Article provided by London School of Economics in its journal British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 38 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 631-645

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:38:y:2000:i:4:p:631-645
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  1. 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.
  2. Towers, Brian, 1997. "The Representation Gap: Change and Reform in the British and American Workplace," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198289463, July.
  3. Disney, Richard & Gosling, Amanda & Machin, Stephen, 1996. "What Has Happened to Union Recognition in Britain?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(249), pages 1-18, February.
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