Employers' organisation and strikebreaking in Britain, 1880-1914

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The historical development of employers' associations and the role these organisations played in strikebreaking has been considerably neglected in industrial-relations history. With a few notable recent exceptions, research has tended to concentrate on the development and struggles of the organisations of men, rather than the masters. This is partly the result of the secrecy and anonymity of employers' associations and their reluctance to allow access to their records or to attract media interest, and partly because the defensive and conservative attitudes and policies of employers' organisations have proved less attractive to historians than the more militant political and social theories that lie at the foundation of trade-union policy. In particular, the strikebreaking activities of employers and their organisations were not widely publicised. As a result, this whole emotive area is shrouded in exaggeration, sensationalism, distortion and the propagation of myths by both workers and employers. The object of this paper is to analyse the parameters of employers' coercive strikebreaking tactics from the 1880's to 1914 and to shed some light on the role employers' associations played during industrial stoppages. The first section briefly outlines the main developments in employers' organisation, solidarity and labour-relations policy before 1914. Following this is a discussion of the various strikebreaking tactics utilised by employers in this period, broken down into sections on labour replacement, victimisation and legal action, strike compensation and internal solidarity, and, finally, the lock-out.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-33
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Review of Social History
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1984

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employer
employers' association
tactics
trade union policy
solidarity
access to records
industrial relations
labor relations
anonymity
secrecy
historical development
strike
victimization
Employers
historian
myth
labor
worker
history

Keywords

  • employers' associations
  • strikebreaking
  • industrial relations
  • labour relations

Cite this

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title = "Employers' organisation and strikebreaking in Britain, 1880-1914",
abstract = "The historical development of employers' associations and the role these organisations played in strikebreaking has been considerably neglected in industrial-relations history. With a few notable recent exceptions, research has tended to concentrate on the development and struggles of the organisations of men, rather than the masters. This is partly the result of the secrecy and anonymity of employers' associations and their reluctance to allow access to their records or to attract media interest, and partly because the defensive and conservative attitudes and policies of employers' organisations have proved less attractive to historians than the more militant political and social theories that lie at the foundation of trade-union policy. In particular, the strikebreaking activities of employers and their organisations were not widely publicised. As a result, this whole emotive area is shrouded in exaggeration, sensationalism, distortion and the propagation of myths by both workers and employers. The object of this paper is to analyse the parameters of employers' coercive strikebreaking tactics from the 1880's to 1914 and to shed some light on the role employers' associations played during industrial stoppages. The first section briefly outlines the main developments in employers' organisation, solidarity and labour-relations policy before 1914. Following this is a discussion of the various strikebreaking tactics utilised by employers in this period, broken down into sections on labour replacement, victimisation and legal action, strike compensation and internal solidarity, and, finally, the lock-out.",
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Employers' organisation and strikebreaking in Britain, 1880-1914. / McIvor, Arthur J.

In: International Review of Social History, Vol. 29, No. 1, 04.1984, p. 1-33.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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