Trade Unions and the Economy: 1870–2000: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Trade Unions and the Economy: 1870–2000

1st Edition

By Derek H. Aldcroft, Michael J. Oliver


236 pages

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Paperback: 9781138267503
pub: 2017-05-16
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What do unions do and why do they do it? Do they seek to maximise profit for their members, or to obtain better working conditions that benefit society as a whole? Derek H. Aldcroft and Michael J. Oliver here provide one of the first sustained studies of the effects of union activities in terms of economic performance and the impact on the business world. From the rise of the British mass trade union movement in the 1870s to the present day, the book examines the main trends in union development and structure, and the core strategies unions have used to achieve their objectives: the use of strikes, work rules and restrictive practices; workers’ attitudes to innovation; the wage bargaining process. Important assessments are made of the influence of these strategies on investment, innovation, economic growth, and the cost of structure and competitiveness of the UK economy.


'… a clearly written and accessible monograph, which will be of interest to students and academics in the fields of Economic History, Industrial Relations and Management Studies… a very useful introductory guide to the literature and background of British trade unions and their interaction with UK businesses and the British Economy.' EH.NET '… amasses a considerable array of assertion and counter-assertion… provides a rich quarry for those wishing to survey both near-contemporary and recent writings on the subject.' Business History

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The rise of a mass trade union movement, 1870-1914; Trade unions in war and peace, 1914-1951; The zenith of labour power, 1950-1970s; The unions in retreat, 1979-2000; Conclusion; Index.

About the Series

Modern Economic and Social History

Modern Economic and Social History
Modern Economic and Social History encourages the publication of scholarly monographs on aspects of modern economic and social history. While emphasis is placed on works embodying original research, the series also provides studies of a more general and thematic nature which offer a reappraisal or critical analysis of major issues of debate. Economic and social history has been a flourishing subject of scholarly study during recent decades. Not only has the volume of literature increased enormously but the range of interest in time, space and subject matter has broadened considerably so that today there are many sub-branches of the subject which have developed considerable status in their own right.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General