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Strike Incidence in British Manufacturing in the 1980s

Author

Listed:
  • Peter Ingram
  • David Metcalf
  • Jonathan Wadsworth

Abstract

In British manufacturing during the 1980s, about one in forty wage settlements involved a strike. Using data provided by the Confederation of British Industry, the authors analyze the incidence of strikes in some 6,000 negotiations at the level of the bargaining group. Among their findings are that multi-unionism (the presence in a workplace of more than one union with the authority to bargain) was associated with higher strike incidence than was single unionism; changes in industrial relations laws during the 1980s were associated with reduced strike incidence; and, contrary to the findings of most similar studies of North American strikes, strike incidence in Britain during the 1980s appears to have been counter-cyclical, increasing as unemployment increased. Three strike theories are assessed in light of the empirical evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Ingram & David Metcalf & Jonathan Wadsworth, 1993. "Strike Incidence in British Manufacturing in the 1980s," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(4), pages 704-717, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:46:y:1993:i:4:p:704-717
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    Cited by:

    1. Kyung nok Chun & Zachary Schaller & Stergios Skaperdas, 2020. "Why Are There Strikes?," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 130(6), pages 929-956.
    2. Archontis L. Pantsios & Solomon W. Polachek, 2017. "How Asymmetrically Increasing Joint Strike Costs Need Not Lead to Fewer Strikes," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 45(2), pages 149-161, June.
    3. Christa N. Brunnschweiler & Colin Jennings & Ian A. MacKenzie, 2012. "Rebellion against Reason? A Study of Expressive Choice and Strikes," Working Paper Series 13012, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    4. Symeonidis, George, 2017. "Does product market competition increase strike activity? Evidence from the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 42-56.
    5. Brunnschweiler, Christa N. & Jennings, Colin & MacKenzie, Ian A., 2014. "A study of expressive choice and strikes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 111-125.
    6. Ahmet Ozkardas & Agnieszka Rusinowska, 2014. "Holdout threats of the union during wage bargaining," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14072, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    7. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2011. "A Good Time to Stay Out? Strikes and the Business Cycle," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 70-92, June.
    8. Tom Redman & Ed Snape, 2014. "The antecedents of union commitment and participation: evaluating moderation effects across unions," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(6), pages 486-506, November.
    9. Stefan Oliver Houpt & Juan Carlos Rojo Cagigal, 2014. "Relative deprivation and labour conflict during Spain’s industrialization: the Bilbao estuary, 1914–1936," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 8(3), pages 335-369, September.
    10. Gabriele Ruiu, 2014. "The Role of Trust in Determining the Propensity to Join Unofficial Strikes," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 8(3), pages 125-148, December.
    11. Miguel Malo & Nuria Sánchez-Sánchez, 2014. "The legal form of labour conflicts and their time persistence: an empirical analysis with a large firms’ panel," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 513-533, December.
    12. Sue Fernie & David Metcalf, 1995. "Participation, Contingent Pay, Representation and Workplace Performance: Evidence from Great Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 379-415, September.
    13. Sarah Brown & John Sessions, 2000. "Employee militancy in Britain: 1985-1990," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1767-1774.
    14. Milner, S., 1995. "Industrial disputes and the law in Spain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20710, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Jeremy Tanguy, 2013. "Collective and Individual Conflicts in the Workplace: Evidence from F rance," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 102-133, January.

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