Have industrial relations in the UK really improved?
The number of strikes reported in British industry has been on a downward trend over the past two decades, falling in 1998 to their lowest level since records began. This may indicate that relations within British industry have improved, however, the same period has also witnessed a sharp increase in the number of individual ACAS and employment tribunal cases. We discuss possible reasons for the changes in the patterns of industrial unrest over time and use individual microdata to examine whether the observed decline in strike activity has actually been associated with an improvement in perceptions of workplace industrial relations.
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