1st Edition

The Government of British Trade Unions A Study of Apathy and the Democratic Process in the Transport and General Workers Union

By Joseph Goldstein Copyright 1952
    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 1952, The Government of British Trade Unions analyses the government, in theory and in practice, of one of Britain’s most important labour organizations – The Transport and General Works Union in the first half of the 20th Century. It is an appraisal of the role of the rank and file within this union of over one million members, to determine both the opportunity for, and the extent of their participation in, this State within a State. Original sources and materials, which had not previously been made public in relation to any major British or American Trade Union, were used to ascertain member turnover, participation in elections, attendance at Branch meetings and the effect of the repeal of the Trade Disputes Act on Labour Party membership. The study is of great interest both for the light it throws on the general question of Trade Unions in the modern State, and for its analysis of the Transport and General Works Union itself.

    1. Introduction 2. The Transport and General Workers Union – Its Power Position (1947-1948) in the Community in Which it Works 3. The Union in Theory – An Analysis of the Rules and Constitution of the T.G.W.U 4. An Introduction to the Problem of Apathy 5. The Membership Turnover and Size and Distribution in Branches of Different Sizes 6. The Arrears Position of the Membership with Special Emphasis on the Size of Membership in Relation to Total National Membership Eligible to Hold Office 7. Elections in Relation to Member Participation 8. Membership Response to the Union’s Educational Scheme 9. Membership Affiliation to the Labour Party Before and After the Repeal of the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act of 1927, in Relation to Member Participation 10. Member Participation at Branch Level – The Problem, Sources of Information and the Method of Inquiry 11. The Image of the Branch in Theory 12. The Image of the Branch in Action – An Introduction 13. The Size, Turnover and Arrears Position of the I/AAA Branch Membership 14. First Impressions and a Description of a Typical I/AAA Branch Meeting 15. Who Controls the Branch? – An Analysis of the Extent of Member Participation at Branch Level 16. Who Controls the Branch (continued) – The Permanent Paid Official – Union ‘Civil Servant’? 17. The Inactive Member – Other Channels of Participation and Communication 18. The Inactive Member (continued) – The Problem of Eliciting Active Participation 19. Conclusion.

    Biography

    Joseph Goldstein was Derald H. Ruttenberg Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale University, USA.

    Review of the original edition of The Government of British Trade Unions:

    ‘As yet no effort equalling that of Mr. Goldstein has been made in this direction…His work should not be ignored in any trade union organisation…This book should be in every trade union office.’ P. N. Holloway, Political Science, 5:2