Labour History

The Rise of the Modern Labour Technocrat: Intellectual Labour and the Transformation of the Amalgamated Metal Workers’ Union, 1973-85

Labour History (1999), 77, (1), 64–82.

Abstract

This article studies the rise of the modern labour technocrat within the Amalgamated Metal Workers’ Union, which developed in this period a large research, educational and publicity apparatus, a vibrant shop steward movement, and independence from the political parties of the labour movement. Intellectual work within the union at first aimed to encourage rank-and-file intervention in industry. A series of defeats and changing political relationships altered the focus of intellectual work to an alliance with Labor in government. Thus the union’s intellectuals took on a different role, that of technocratic expert. The rise of the modern labour technocrat- a new and dominant actor in the labour movement of the 1980s - was not inevitable. There was a contest over the place and role of the labour expert in the ‘modern union’ during the 1970s and 80s.

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Details

Author details

Scalmer, Sean

Irving, Terry

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
p. 641
p. 652
p. 663
p. 674
p. 685
p. 696
p. 707
p. 718
p. 729
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