Contrasting Patterns of Industrial Relations in Britain


  • Mick Marchington



Given that Mrs Thatcher is no longer Prime Minister, now seems an appropiate time to try and provide an assessment of where industrial relations currently stands in Britain, and what has been the impact of Thatcherism on the system. This exercis,e has a certain intellectual as well as practical appeal given the grand claims which have been made about rhe extent of change in the UK since 1979. It is true to say that there ,has be,en considerable change to the national institutions and the legal framework for industrial relations in Great Britain. But, at the same time, there are also tloub,ts as to whether this has been reflected in concrete industrial relations practices at the workplace. Interesting as this debate is however, it is argued here that it ,is misleading because a whole series of assumptions are made about the character of British industrial relations, both in 1979 and in 1991, which are not applicable across the economy as a whole. A much more useful approach is to focus on the variety which exists in British industrial relations, and to outline in a series of patterns of industrial relations rather than trying to describe a universal all embracing picture.


Download data is not yet available.