Labour History Review

Still setting the pace? Labour history, industrial relations and the history of post-war trade unionism

Labour History Review (1999), 64, (2), 179–199.

Abstract

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The scope and approach of contemporary history remains an issue of debate: see P. Catterall, ‘Editor's Preface’ in H. Jones and M. Kandiah, The Myth of Consensus: New Views on British History, 1945-64, 1996. Many contemporary historians date the beginning of the contemporary era in 1945, running on to an unspecified date. Our view is that the availability of the materials for a proper historical approach means it is difficult for historians to presently progress much beyond 1979; cf. Catterall. ‘Editors’ Preface', p. xi Google Scholar

C. Crouch, The Politics of Industrial Relations, 2nd edition, 1982, p. 118; Department of Employment, Industrial Relations in the 1990s - Proposals for Further Reform of Industrial Relations and Trade Union Law, Cm 1602, 1991, p. 1 Google Scholar

See J. McIlroy, ‘The enduring alliance? Trade unions and the making of New Labour, 1994-97’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 36, no. 4 (1998), p. 542 ‘The enduring alliance? Trade unions and the making of New Labour, 1994-97’ British Journal of Industrial Relations 36 542 Google Scholar

J. Monks, ‘No shopping list’, New Statesman, 8 September 1995; ‘Interview with John Monks’, New Statesman, 6 September 1996 ‘No shopping list’ New Statesman Google Scholar

A. Campbell, N. Fishman and J. McIlroy (eds), British Trade Unionism and Industrial Politics. vol. 1: The Post-War Compromise, 1945-64, Aldershot, 1999; J. McIlroy, N. Fishman and A. Campbell (eds), British Trade Unionism and Industrial Politics, vol. 2: The Hightide of Trade Unionism, 1964-79, Aldershot, 1999 British Trade Unionism and Industrial Politics. vol. 1: The Post-War Compromise, 1945-64 Google Scholar

E. Hobsbawm, ‘Trade union historiography’, Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, no. 8 (1964), p. 31 ‘Trade union historiography’ Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History 31 Google Scholar

See, for example, workplace studies of trade unionism, notably T. Lane and K. Roberts, Strike at Pilkingtons, 1971; H. Beynon, Working for Ford, Harmondsworth, 1973; A. Pollert, Girls, Wives, Factory Lives, 1981; and wider attempts to analyse trade unionism such as A. Fox, A Sociology of Work in Industry, 1971; R. Hyman, Marxism and the Sociology of Trade Unionism, 1971, and Industrial Relations: A Marxist Introduction, 1975. J. A. Banks, Trade Unionism, 1974; S. Hill, Competition and Control at Work, 1981; C. Crouch, Class Conflict and the Industrial Relations Crisis, 1977, and Trade Unions: The Logic of Collective Action, 1982; also the influential work of Goldthorpe and his colleagues - see J. Goldthorpe et al., The Affluent Worker, 3 volumes, Cambridge, 1968-69 Google Scholar

L. Minkin, The Labour Party Conference, Manchester, 1980 and The Contentious Alliance: Trade Unions and the Labour Party, Edinburgh, 1991; B. Pimlott and C. Cook (eds), Trade Unions in British Politics: The First 250 Years, 2nd edition, 1991. See also M. Moran, The Union of Post Office Workers: A Study in Political Sociology, 1974, and The Politics of Industrial Relations, 1977; A. Taylor, Trade Unions and the Labour Party, 1987; D. Marsh, The New Politics of British Trade Unionism, 1992 The Labour Party Conference Google Scholar

Recent surveys include J. H. Pencavel, Labour Markets under Trade Unionism, Oxford, 1991, and A. L. Booth, The Economics of the Trade Union, Cambridge, 1995. M. Dintinfass, The Decline of Industrial Britain, 1870-1980, 1992. H. Phelps Brown, The Origins of Trade Union Power, Oxford, 1983 Labour Markets under Trade Unionism Google Scholar

J. Kelly, ‘Does the field of industrial relations have a future?’, unpublished paper, British Universities Industrial Relations Association Annual Conference, Oxford, 1994, and Rethinking Industrial Relations, 1998 Google Scholar

M. Neufeld, ‘The sense of history and the annals of labor’, Proceedings of the American Industrial Relations Research Association, 1961, quoted in D. Brody, ‘Labor history, industrial relations and the crisis of American labor’, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 43, no. 1 (1989), p. 7 ‘The sense of history and the annals of labor’ Google Scholar

A. Fox, History and Heritage: The Social Origins of the British Industrial Relations System, 1985; H. A. Clegg, A History of British Trade Unions since 1989, volume III, 1934-51, Oxford, 1994; M. Terry and P. Edwards (eds), Shopfloor Politics and Job Controls, Oxford, 1988. For individual union histories see, for example, K. Coates and T. Topham, The Making of the Labour Movement: The Formation of the Transport and General Workers' Union, Nottingham, 1994; J. Gennard, A History of the National Graphical Association, 1990; J. Gennard and P. Bain, A History of the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades, 1995; A. Marsh and V. Ryan, The Seamen: A History of the National Union of Seamen, 1887-1987, Oxford, 1988; A. Marsh, The Carpet Weavers, Oxford, 1995; J. E. Mortimer, History of the Boilermakers' Society, volume 3: 1940-89, 1994 Google Scholar

D. Howell, ‘Editorial’, Labour History Review (hereafter LHR), vol. 60, no. 1 (1995); ‘Comments’ by M. Chase, S. Fielding, K. Flett and J. Halstead and D. Martin, LHR, vol. 60, no. 3 (1995); J. Saville, ‘The "crisis" in labour history: a further comment’, LHR, vol. 61, no. 3 (1996) ‘Editorial’ Labour History Review 60 Google Scholar

G. Eley and K. Nield, ‘Why does social history ignore politics?’, Social History, vol. 5, no. 2 (1980), pp. 264, 267. R. Price, ‘The future of British labour history’, International Review of Social History, vol. 34 (1991) ‘Why does social history ignore politics?’ Social History 5 264 Google Scholar

J. Zeitlin, ‘From labour history to the history of industrial relations’, Economic History Review, 2nd series, vol. 40, no. 2 (1987); H. Kimeldorf, ‘Bringing the unions back in (or why we need a new old labour history)’, Labor History, vol. 32, no. 1 (1991). As is apparent below, we do not endorse the narrowing of agendas implicit in Zeitlin's prescriptions ‘From labour history to the history of industrial relations’ Economic History Review 40 Google Scholar

In 1990, for example, there were 29 entries on ‘trade unionism’ compared with 81 on ‘popular culture, leisure, sport and religion’, LHR, vol. 55, no. 2, 1990; in 1993 the comparable figures were 11 and 45, LHR, vol. 58, no. 2, 1993; in 1997, 25 and 56, LHR, vol. 62, no. 2, 1997, although the former figure was inflated by eight entries relating to articles in Historical Studies in Industrial Relations (hereafter HSIR): see below, note 46 Google Scholar

H. Pelling, A History of British Trade Unionism, 5th edition, Harmondsworth, 1992; K. Laybourn, A History of British Trade Unions, 1770-1990, Stroud, 1992; R. Hyman, ‘Praetorians and proletarians: unions and industrial relations’, in J. Fyrth (ed.), Labour's High Noon: The Government and the Economy, 1945-51, 1993; S. Tolliday and J. Zeitlin (eds), Shop Floor Bargaining and the State: Historical and Comparative Perspectives, Cambridge, 1985; D. Lyddon, ‘The car industry, 1945-79: shop stewards and workplace unionism’, in C. Wrigley (ed.), A History of British Industrial Relations, 1939-79: Industrial Relations in a Declining Economy, Cheltenham, 1996 A History of British Trade Unionism Google Scholar

J. Tomlinson, ‘The Labour government and the trade unions, 1945-51’, in N. Tiratsoo (ed.), The Attlee Years, 1991; J. Melling and A. McKinlay (eds), Management, Labour and Industrial Politics in Modern Europe, Cheltenham, 1996; J. Cronin, Industrial Conflict in Modern Britain, 1982; R. Church and Q. Outram, Strikes and Solidarity: Coalfield Conflict in Modern Britain, 1889-1966, Cambridge, 1998; J. Davis Smith, The Attlee and Churchill Administrations and Industrial Unrest, 1945-1955, 1990; D. Gilbert, ‘Strikes in postwar Britain’, in Wrigley, History. Google Scholar

C. Wrigley (ed.), British Trade Unions, 1945-95: Documents in Contemporary History, Manchester, 1997; J. Cronin, Labour and Society in Britain, 1918-79, 1984 British Trade Unions, 1945-95: Documents in Contemporary History Google Scholar

S. Boston, Women Workers and the Trade Union Movement, 1980; S. Lewenhak, Women in Trade Unions: An Outline History of Women in the British Trade Union Movement, 1977. See also N. C. Soldon, Women in Trade Unions, Dublin, 1978. There is little detailed research by labour historians on the black experience of trade unionism, but see generally P. Fryer, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain, 1984; R. Ramdin, The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain, Aldershot, 1987. R. Miles and A. Phizacklea, The TUC, Black Workers and Commonwealth Immigration, 1954-1973, Warwick, 1977 Google Scholar

S. Fielding, P. Thompson and N. Tiratsoo, ‘England Arise!’: The Labour Party and Popular Politics in 1940s Britain, Manchester, 1995, p. 125. Cf. J. Fyrth, ‘Days of hope: the meaning of 1945’, in J. Fyrth (ed.), Labour's Promised Land? Culture and Society in Labour Britain, 1945-51, 1995; J. Hinton, ‘1945 and the Apathy School’, History Workshop Journal, no. 43, 1997. For research on attendance at branch meetings, with studies showing regular attendance as only 4-7 per cent in the 1950s and 2 per cent in the following decade, see R. Taylor, The Fifth Estate: Britain's Unions in the Modern World, 1980, pp. 176ff ‘England Arise!’: The Labour Party and Popular Politics in 1940s Britain 125 Google Scholar

P. Addison, The Road to 1945, 2nd edition, 1994; B. Pimlott, ‘The myth of consensus’, in L. M. Smith (ed.), The Making of Britain: Echoes of Greatness, 1988; D. Kavanagh and P. Morris, Consensus Politics from Attlee to Thatcher, Oxford, 1989; D. Dutton, British Politics Since 1945: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Consensus, Oxford, 1997; Jones and Kandiah, Myth of Consensus. Google Scholar

Kavanagh and Morris, Consensus Politics, ch. 4, ‘The role of the trade unions’, pp. 51-70; N. Whiteside, ‘The politics of the "social" and the "industrial" wage, 1945-60’, in Jones and Kandiah, Myth of Consensus, pp. 120-39 Google Scholar

P. Johnston (ed.), Twentieth Century Britain: Economic Social and Cultural change, 1994; J. Obelkevich and P. Catterall (eds), Understanding Post-War British Society, 1994, pp. 5, 101-3 Google Scholar

Wrigley, History; R. Taylor, The Trade Union Question in British Politics: Government and Unions since 1945, Oxford, 1993 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

N. Kirk (ed.), Social Class and Marxism: Defences and Challenges, Aldershot, 1996 Social Class and Marxism: Defences and Challenges Google Scholar

A. Campbell, N. Fishman and J. McIlroy, ‘The post-war compromise: mapping industrial politics, 1945-64’, in Campbell, Fishman and McIlroy, British Trade Unionism, vol. 1 ‘The post-war compromise: mapping industrial politics, 1945-64’ British Trade Unionism 1 Google Scholar

J. McIlroy, Trade Unions in Britain Today, Manchester, 1995, pp. 36, 176-83, 400-21; R. Taylor, The Future of the Trade Unions, 1994, pp. xi-xvi, 56-80; E. Lawrence, Gender and Trade Unions, 1994; H. Bradley, Gender and Power in the Workplace, 1998; S. Ledwith and F. Colgan, ‘Sisters organising: women and the trade unions’, in S. Ledwith and F. Colgan (eds), Women in Organisations: Challenging Gender Politics, 1996; J. Wrench and S. Virdee, ‘Organising the unorganised: "race", poor work and trade unions’, in P. Ackers et al., The New Workplace and Trade Unionism, 1995 Trade Unions in Britain Today 36 Google Scholar

E. Hobsbawm, On History, 1997, p. 239 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

J. Belchem, ‘Reconstructing labour history’, LHR, vol. 62, no. 3, 1997, pp. 320-1 ‘Reconstructing labour history’ LHR 62 320 1 Google Scholar

P. Joyce, ‘The end of social history?’, Social History, vol. 20, no. 1, 1995, pp. 82, 84 ‘The end of social history?’ Social History 20 82 Google Scholar

M. Savage and A. Miles, The Remaking of the British Working Class, 1840-1940, 1994, p. 17. For an attempt to write the history of industrial relations in a postmodernist vein see, C. Hay, ‘Narrating crisis: the discursive construction of the winter of discontent’, Sociology, vol. 30, no. 2 (1990) Google Scholar

E. Hobsbawm, ‘Identity history is not enough’, in On History; R. J. Evans, In Defence of History, 1997, pp. 215-8 Google Scholar

However it is worrying that the first three volumes of LHR since its revamp have included twenty-one articles, only one of which was a study of trade unionism Google Scholar

P. Willman and G. Winch, Innovation and Management Control: Labour Relations at BL Cars, Cambridge, 1995 Innovation and Management Control: Labour Relations at BL Cars Google Scholar

See, for example, the gripping account in M. Edwardes, Back from the Brink, 1983; for a superior account of developments from the union side, see A. Thornett, Inside Cowley. Trade Union Struggle in the 1970s: Who Really Opened the Door for the Tory Onslaught?, 1998 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Willman and Winch, Innovation, pp. 1, 67, 159-61, 180-2, 194-9 Google Scholar

D. Lyddon and P. Smith, ‘Editorial’, HSIR, no. 1 (1996) ‘Editorial’ HSIR Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Terry and Edwards, Shopfloor Politics, p. 3; of the studies in this volume, only S. Jefferys, ‘The changing face of conflict: shopfloor organisation at Longbridge, 1939-80’, touches on the role of the Communist Party in the plant Google Scholar

Fox, History and Heritage, p. xii, quoted, slightly abbreviated, in Lyddon and Smith, ‘Editorial’, p. 8 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

This is not to deny the utility of a dedicated journal but to address its scope. The value of HSIR is attested by its coverage of trade unionism in comparison with other journals. Its first five issues contained sixteen articles, eleven of which dealt with aspects of trade unionism. This understates the position as other articles dealing with management have been of relevance and trade union issues have also been addressed in review essays Google Scholar

But see C. Crouch, The Politics of Industrial Relations, 1978, pp. 148-58; S. Tolliday and J. Zeitlin (eds), The Power to Manage? Employers and Industrial Relations in Comparative-Historical Perspective, 1991; W. Grant, Business and Politics in Britain, 1993; Melling and McKinlay, Management, Labour and Industrial Politics. Google Scholar

Marsh, New Politics of British Trade Unionism, pp. xvii-xix Google Scholar

L. James, Power in a Trade Union: The Role of the District Committee in the AUEW, Cambridge, 1984, pp. 3-5, 46; M. Armstrong, ‘The History and Organisation of the Broad Left in the AUEW (Engineering Section) until 1972, with special reference to Manchester’, University of Warwick, MA thesis, 1978. For the Platts' closure, see James, Power in a Trade Union, pp. 75-8, and H. Ratner, Reluctant Revolutionary: Memoirs of a Trotskyist, 1936-60, 1994, pp. 172-84 Power in a Trade Union: The Role of the District Committee in the AUEW 3 5 Google Scholar

See, for example, Hyman, Industrial Relations; T. Clarke and L. Clements, Trade Unions Under Capitalism, 1977; J. Kelly, Trade Unions and Socialist Politics, 1988 Google Scholar

E. Heery and J. Kelly, ‘Professional, participative and managerial unionism: an interpretation of change in trade unions’, Work, Employment and Society, vol. 8, no. 1 (1994); P. Smith, ‘Change in British trade unions since 1945’, Work, Employment and Society, vol. 9, no. 1 (1995); P. Ackers, ‘Change in trade unions since 1945; a response to Heery and Kelly’, Work, Employment and Society, vol. 9, no. 1 (1995); J. Zeitlin, ‘"Rank and filism" in British labour history, International Review of Social History’, vol. 34 (1989), and the responses by Price and Cronin in the same volume and by Hyman in the subsequent issue ‘Professional, participative and managerial unionism: an interpretation of change in trade unions’ Work, Employment and Society 8 Google Scholar

H. A. Turner, Trade Union Growth, Structure and Policy: A Comparative Study of the Cotton Unions, 1962; V. Allen, Trade Union Leadership: Based on a Study of Arthur Deakin, 1957; Hobsbawm, ‘Trade union historiography’, p. 33 Google Scholar

P. Routledge, Scargill: The Unauthorised Biography, 1993; M. Crick, Scargill and the Miners, Harmondsworth, 1985; G. Goodman, The Awkward Warrior. Frank Cousins, his Life and Times, 1979. On Jones there is only J. Jones, Union Man: An Autobiography, 1986 Google Scholar

On this point see D. Montgomery, The Fall of the House of Labour: The Workplace, The State and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925, New York, 1987, p. 2; J. McIlroy, ‘Still under siege: British trade unions at the turn of the century’, HSIR, no. 3 (1997), pp. 118-21; Saville, ‘The "crisis" in labour history’, pp. 322-3 The Fall of the House of Labour: The Workplace, The State and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925 2 Google Scholar

D. Montgomery, ‘The limits of union-centred history: responses to Howard Kimeldorf’, Labor History, vol. 32, no. 1 (1991), p. 116 ‘The limits of union-centred history: responses to Howard Kimeldorf’ Labor History 32 116 Google Scholar

Ibid.; J. McIlroy, review of Wrigley, History, in HSIR no. 2 (1996), pp. 169-70 Google Scholar

Taylor, Trade Union Question, p. 4 Google Scholar

M. Jacques and F. Mulhern (eds), The Forward March of Labour Halted?, 1981 Google Scholar

The scope and approach of contemporary history remains an issue of debate: see P. Catterall, ‘Editor's Preface’ in H. Jones and M. Kandiah, The Myth of Consensus: New Views on British History, 1945-64, 1996. Many contemporary historians date the beginning of the contemporary era in 1945, running on to an unspecified date. Our view is that the availability of the materials for a proper historical approach means it is difficult for historians to presently progress much beyond 1979; cf. Catterall. ‘Editors’ Preface', p. xi Google Scholar

C. Crouch, The Politics of Industrial Relations, 2nd edition, 1982, p. 118; Department of Employment, Industrial Relations in the 1990s - Proposals for Further Reform of Industrial Relations and Trade Union Law, Cm 1602, 1991, p. 1 Google Scholar

See J. McIlroy, ‘The enduring alliance? Trade unions and the making of New Labour, 1994-97’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 36, no. 4 (1998), p. 542 ‘The enduring alliance? Trade unions and the making of New Labour, 1994-97’ British Journal of Industrial Relations 36 542 Google Scholar

J. Monks, ‘No shopping list’, New Statesman, 8 September 1995; ‘Interview with John Monks’, New Statesman, 6 September 1996 ‘No shopping list’ New Statesman Google Scholar

A. Campbell, N. Fishman and J. McIlroy (eds), British Trade Unionism and Industrial Politics. vol. 1: The Post-War Compromise, 1945-64, Aldershot, 1999; J. McIlroy, N. Fishman and A. Campbell (eds), British Trade Unionism and Industrial Politics, vol. 2: The Hightide of Trade Unionism, 1964-79, Aldershot, 1999 British Trade Unionism and Industrial Politics. vol. 1: The Post-War Compromise, 1945-64 Google Scholar

E. Hobsbawm, ‘Trade union historiography’, Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, no. 8 (1964), p. 31 ‘Trade union historiography’ Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History 31 Google Scholar

See, for example, workplace studies of trade unionism, notably T. Lane and K. Roberts, Strike at Pilkingtons, 1971; H. Beynon, Working for Ford, Harmondsworth, 1973; A. Pollert, Girls, Wives, Factory Lives, 1981; and wider attempts to analyse trade unionism such as A. Fox, A Sociology of Work in Industry, 1971; R. Hyman, Marxism and the Sociology of Trade Unionism, 1971, and Industrial Relations: A Marxist Introduction, 1975. J. A. Banks, Trade Unionism, 1974; S. Hill, Competition and Control at Work, 1981; C. Crouch, Class Conflict and the Industrial Relations Crisis, 1977, and Trade Unions: The Logic of Collective Action, 1982; also the influential work of Goldthorpe and his colleagues - see J. Goldthorpe et al., The Affluent Worker, 3 volumes, Cambridge, 1968-69 Google Scholar

L. Minkin, The Labour Party Conference, Manchester, 1980 and The Contentious Alliance: Trade Unions and the Labour Party, Edinburgh, 1991; B. Pimlott and C. Cook (eds), Trade Unions in British Politics: The First 250 Years, 2nd edition, 1991. See also M. Moran, The Union of Post Office Workers: A Study in Political Sociology, 1974, and The Politics of Industrial Relations, 1977; A. Taylor, Trade Unions and the Labour Party, 1987; D. Marsh, The New Politics of British Trade Unionism, 1992 The Labour Party Conference Google Scholar

Recent surveys include J. H. Pencavel, Labour Markets under Trade Unionism, Oxford, 1991, and A. L. Booth, The Economics of the Trade Union, Cambridge, 1995. M. Dintinfass, The Decline of Industrial Britain, 1870-1980, 1992. H. Phelps Brown, The Origins of Trade Union Power, Oxford, 1983 Labour Markets under Trade Unionism Google Scholar

J. Kelly, ‘Does the field of industrial relations have a future?’, unpublished paper, British Universities Industrial Relations Association Annual Conference, Oxford, 1994, and Rethinking Industrial Relations, 1998 Google Scholar

M. Neufeld, ‘The sense of history and the annals of labor’, Proceedings of the American Industrial Relations Research Association, 1961, quoted in D. Brody, ‘Labor history, industrial relations and the crisis of American labor’, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 43, no. 1 (1989), p. 7 ‘The sense of history and the annals of labor’ Google Scholar

A. Fox, History and Heritage: The Social Origins of the British Industrial Relations System, 1985; H. A. Clegg, A History of British Trade Unions since 1989, volume III, 1934-51, Oxford, 1994; M. Terry and P. Edwards (eds), Shopfloor Politics and Job Controls, Oxford, 1988. For individual union histories see, for example, K. Coates and T. Topham, The Making of the Labour Movement: The Formation of the Transport and General Workers' Union, Nottingham, 1994; J. Gennard, A History of the National Graphical Association, 1990; J. Gennard and P. Bain, A History of the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades, 1995; A. Marsh and V. Ryan, The Seamen: A History of the National Union of Seamen, 1887-1987, Oxford, 1988; A. Marsh, The Carpet Weavers, Oxford, 1995; J. E. Mortimer, History of the Boilermakers' Society, volume 3: 1940-89, 1994 Google Scholar

D. Howell, ‘Editorial’, Labour History Review (hereafter LHR), vol. 60, no. 1 (1995); ‘Comments’ by M. Chase, S. Fielding, K. Flett and J. Halstead and D. Martin, LHR, vol. 60, no. 3 (1995); J. Saville, ‘The "crisis" in labour history: a further comment’, LHR, vol. 61, no. 3 (1996) ‘Editorial’ Labour History Review 60 Google Scholar

G. Eley and K. Nield, ‘Why does social history ignore politics?’, Social History, vol. 5, no. 2 (1980), pp. 264, 267. R. Price, ‘The future of British labour history’, International Review of Social History, vol. 34 (1991) ‘Why does social history ignore politics?’ Social History 5 264 Google Scholar

J. Zeitlin, ‘From labour history to the history of industrial relations’, Economic History Review, 2nd series, vol. 40, no. 2 (1987); H. Kimeldorf, ‘Bringing the unions back in (or why we need a new old labour history)’, Labor History, vol. 32, no. 1 (1991). As is apparent below, we do not endorse the narrowing of agendas implicit in Zeitlin's prescriptions ‘From labour history to the history of industrial relations’ Economic History Review 40 Google Scholar

In 1990, for example, there were 29 entries on ‘trade unionism’ compared with 81 on ‘popular culture, leisure, sport and religion’, LHR, vol. 55, no. 2, 1990; in 1993 the comparable figures were 11 and 45, LHR, vol. 58, no. 2, 1993; in 1997, 25 and 56, LHR, vol. 62, no. 2, 1997, although the former figure was inflated by eight entries relating to articles in Historical Studies in Industrial Relations (hereafter HSIR): see below, note 46 Google Scholar

H. Pelling, A History of British Trade Unionism, 5th edition, Harmondsworth, 1992; K. Laybourn, A History of British Trade Unions, 1770-1990, Stroud, 1992; R. Hyman, ‘Praetorians and proletarians: unions and industrial relations’, in J. Fyrth (ed.), Labour's High Noon: The Government and the Economy, 1945-51, 1993; S. Tolliday and J. Zeitlin (eds), Shop Floor Bargaining and the State: Historical and Comparative Perspectives, Cambridge, 1985; D. Lyddon, ‘The car industry, 1945-79: shop stewards and workplace unionism’, in C. Wrigley (ed.), A History of British Industrial Relations, 1939-79: Industrial Relations in a Declining Economy, Cheltenham, 1996 A History of British Trade Unionism Google Scholar

J. Tomlinson, ‘The Labour government and the trade unions, 1945-51’, in N. Tiratsoo (ed.), The Attlee Years, 1991; J. Melling and A. McKinlay (eds), Management, Labour and Industrial Politics in Modern Europe, Cheltenham, 1996; J. Cronin, Industrial Conflict in Modern Britain, 1982; R. Church and Q. Outram, Strikes and Solidarity: Coalfield Conflict in Modern Britain, 1889-1966, Cambridge, 1998; J. Davis Smith, The Attlee and Churchill Administrations and Industrial Unrest, 1945-1955, 1990; D. Gilbert, ‘Strikes in postwar Britain’, in Wrigley, History. Google Scholar

C. Wrigley (ed.), British Trade Unions, 1945-95: Documents in Contemporary History, Manchester, 1997; J. Cronin, Labour and Society in Britain, 1918-79, 1984 British Trade Unions, 1945-95: Documents in Contemporary History Google Scholar

S. Boston, Women Workers and the Trade Union Movement, 1980; S. Lewenhak, Women in Trade Unions: An Outline History of Women in the British Trade Union Movement, 1977. See also N. C. Soldon, Women in Trade Unions, Dublin, 1978. There is little detailed research by labour historians on the black experience of trade unionism, but see generally P. Fryer, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain, 1984; R. Ramdin, The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain, Aldershot, 1987. R. Miles and A. Phizacklea, The TUC, Black Workers and Commonwealth Immigration, 1954-1973, Warwick, 1977 Google Scholar

S. Fielding, P. Thompson and N. Tiratsoo, ‘England Arise!’: The Labour Party and Popular Politics in 1940s Britain, Manchester, 1995, p. 125. Cf. J. Fyrth, ‘Days of hope: the meaning of 1945’, in J. Fyrth (ed.), Labour's Promised Land? Culture and Society in Labour Britain, 1945-51, 1995; J. Hinton, ‘1945 and the Apathy School’, History Workshop Journal, no. 43, 1997. For research on attendance at branch meetings, with studies showing regular attendance as only 4-7 per cent in the 1950s and 2 per cent in the following decade, see R. Taylor, The Fifth Estate: Britain's Unions in the Modern World, 1980, pp. 176ff ‘England Arise!’: The Labour Party and Popular Politics in 1940s Britain 125 Google Scholar

P. Addison, The Road to 1945, 2nd edition, 1994; B. Pimlott, ‘The myth of consensus’, in L. M. Smith (ed.), The Making of Britain: Echoes of Greatness, 1988; D. Kavanagh and P. Morris, Consensus Politics from Attlee to Thatcher, Oxford, 1989; D. Dutton, British Politics Since 1945: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Consensus, Oxford, 1997; Jones and Kandiah, Myth of Consensus. Google Scholar

Kavanagh and Morris, Consensus Politics, ch. 4, ‘The role of the trade unions’, pp. 51-70; N. Whiteside, ‘The politics of the "social" and the "industrial" wage, 1945-60’, in Jones and Kandiah, Myth of Consensus, pp. 120-39 Google Scholar

P. Johnston (ed.), Twentieth Century Britain: Economic Social and Cultural change, 1994; J. Obelkevich and P. Catterall (eds), Understanding Post-War British Society, 1994, pp. 5, 101-3 Google Scholar

Wrigley, History; R. Taylor, The Trade Union Question in British Politics: Government and Unions since 1945, Oxford, 1993 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

N. Kirk (ed.), Social Class and Marxism: Defences and Challenges, Aldershot, 1996 Social Class and Marxism: Defences and Challenges Google Scholar

A. Campbell, N. Fishman and J. McIlroy, ‘The post-war compromise: mapping industrial politics, 1945-64’, in Campbell, Fishman and McIlroy, British Trade Unionism, vol. 1 ‘The post-war compromise: mapping industrial politics, 1945-64’ British Trade Unionism 1 Google Scholar

J. McIlroy, Trade Unions in Britain Today, Manchester, 1995, pp. 36, 176-83, 400-21; R. Taylor, The Future of the Trade Unions, 1994, pp. xi-xvi, 56-80; E. Lawrence, Gender and Trade Unions, 1994; H. Bradley, Gender and Power in the Workplace, 1998; S. Ledwith and F. Colgan, ‘Sisters organising: women and the trade unions’, in S. Ledwith and F. Colgan (eds), Women in Organisations: Challenging Gender Politics, 1996; J. Wrench and S. Virdee, ‘Organising the unorganised: "race", poor work and trade unions’, in P. Ackers et al., The New Workplace and Trade Unionism, 1995 Trade Unions in Britain Today 36 Google Scholar

E. Hobsbawm, On History, 1997, p. 239 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

J. Belchem, ‘Reconstructing labour history’, LHR, vol. 62, no. 3, 1997, pp. 320-1 ‘Reconstructing labour history’ LHR 62 320 1 Google Scholar

P. Joyce, ‘The end of social history?’, Social History, vol. 20, no. 1, 1995, pp. 82, 84 ‘The end of social history?’ Social History 20 82 Google Scholar

M. Savage and A. Miles, The Remaking of the British Working Class, 1840-1940, 1994, p. 17. For an attempt to write the history of industrial relations in a postmodernist vein see, C. Hay, ‘Narrating crisis: the discursive construction of the winter of discontent’, Sociology, vol. 30, no. 2 (1990) Google Scholar

E. Hobsbawm, ‘Identity history is not enough’, in On History; R. J. Evans, In Defence of History, 1997, pp. 215-8 Google Scholar

However it is worrying that the first three volumes of LHR since its revamp have included twenty-one articles, only one of which was a study of trade unionism Google Scholar

P. Willman and G. Winch, Innovation and Management Control: Labour Relations at BL Cars, Cambridge, 1995 Innovation and Management Control: Labour Relations at BL Cars Google Scholar

See, for example, the gripping account in M. Edwardes, Back from the Brink, 1983; for a superior account of developments from the union side, see A. Thornett, Inside Cowley. Trade Union Struggle in the 1970s: Who Really Opened the Door for the Tory Onslaught?, 1998 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Willman and Winch, Innovation, pp. 1, 67, 159-61, 180-2, 194-9 Google Scholar

D. Lyddon and P. Smith, ‘Editorial’, HSIR, no. 1 (1996) ‘Editorial’ HSIR Google Scholar

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Terry and Edwards, Shopfloor Politics, p. 3; of the studies in this volume, only S. Jefferys, ‘The changing face of conflict: shopfloor organisation at Longbridge, 1939-80’, touches on the role of the Communist Party in the plant Google Scholar

Fox, History and Heritage, p. xii, quoted, slightly abbreviated, in Lyddon and Smith, ‘Editorial’, p. 8 Google Scholar

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This is not to deny the utility of a dedicated journal but to address its scope. The value of HSIR is attested by its coverage of trade unionism in comparison with other journals. Its first five issues contained sixteen articles, eleven of which dealt with aspects of trade unionism. This understates the position as other articles dealing with management have been of relevance and trade union issues have also been addressed in review essays Google Scholar

But see C. Crouch, The Politics of Industrial Relations, 1978, pp. 148-58; S. Tolliday and J. Zeitlin (eds), The Power to Manage? Employers and Industrial Relations in Comparative-Historical Perspective, 1991; W. Grant, Business and Politics in Britain, 1993; Melling and McKinlay, Management, Labour and Industrial Politics. Google Scholar

Marsh, New Politics of British Trade Unionism, pp. xvii-xix Google Scholar

L. James, Power in a Trade Union: The Role of the District Committee in the AUEW, Cambridge, 1984, pp. 3-5, 46; M. Armstrong, ‘The History and Organisation of the Broad Left in the AUEW (Engineering Section) until 1972, with special reference to Manchester’, University of Warwick, MA thesis, 1978. For the Platts' closure, see James, Power in a Trade Union, pp. 75-8, and H. Ratner, Reluctant Revolutionary: Memoirs of a Trotskyist, 1936-60, 1994, pp. 172-84 Power in a Trade Union: The Role of the District Committee in the AUEW 3 5 Google Scholar

See, for example, Hyman, Industrial Relations; T. Clarke and L. Clements, Trade Unions Under Capitalism, 1977; J. Kelly, Trade Unions and Socialist Politics, 1988 Google Scholar

E. Heery and J. Kelly, ‘Professional, participative and managerial unionism: an interpretation of change in trade unions’, Work, Employment and Society, vol. 8, no. 1 (1994); P. Smith, ‘Change in British trade unions since 1945’, Work, Employment and Society, vol. 9, no. 1 (1995); P. Ackers, ‘Change in trade unions since 1945; a response to Heery and Kelly’, Work, Employment and Society, vol. 9, no. 1 (1995); J. Zeitlin, ‘"Rank and filism" in British labour history, International Review of Social History’, vol. 34 (1989), and the responses by Price and Cronin in the same volume and by Hyman in the subsequent issue ‘Professional, participative and managerial unionism: an interpretation of change in trade unions’ Work, Employment and Society 8 Google Scholar

H. A. Turner, Trade Union Growth, Structure and Policy: A Comparative Study of the Cotton Unions, 1962; V. Allen, Trade Union Leadership: Based on a Study of Arthur Deakin, 1957; Hobsbawm, ‘Trade union historiography’, p. 33 Google Scholar

P. Routledge, Scargill: The Unauthorised Biography, 1993; M. Crick, Scargill and the Miners, Harmondsworth, 1985; G. Goodman, The Awkward Warrior. Frank Cousins, his Life and Times, 1979. On Jones there is only J. Jones, Union Man: An Autobiography, 1986 Google Scholar

On this point see D. Montgomery, The Fall of the House of Labour: The Workplace, The State and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925, New York, 1987, p. 2; J. McIlroy, ‘Still under siege: British trade unions at the turn of the century’, HSIR, no. 3 (1997), pp. 118-21; Saville, ‘The "crisis" in labour history’, pp. 322-3 The Fall of the House of Labour: The Workplace, The State and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925 2 Google Scholar

D. Montgomery, ‘The limits of union-centred history: responses to Howard Kimeldorf’, Labor History, vol. 32, no. 1 (1991), p. 116 ‘The limits of union-centred history: responses to Howard Kimeldorf’ Labor History 32 116 Google Scholar

Ibid.; J. McIlroy, review of Wrigley, History, in HSIR no. 2 (1996), pp. 169-70 Google Scholar

Taylor, Trade Union Question, p. 4 Google Scholar

M. Jacques and F. Mulhern (eds), The Forward March of Labour Halted?, 1981 Google Scholar

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McIlroy, John

Campbell, Alan