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Trade Union and Employment Forum

In Place of Strife (1969): Trade Union legal rights & responsibilities revisited

27 April 2019 - 11:00 am - 16:00 pm

Modern Records Centre, Warwick University

50 years ago, the conflict between the Harold Wilson Labour Government and the trade unions over the Barbara Castle White Paper ‘In Place of Strife’ was one of the pivotal moments of post-war British Industrial Relations. It pitched voluntarist ideas of ‘free collective bargaining’ against ideas of economic planning and public policy concerns about strikes, inflation and restrictive practices. The white paper followed the 1968 Donovan Report & preceded Heath’s Conservative 1971 Industrial Relations Act. In response to Peter Dorey’s new book Comrades in Conflict: Labour, the Trade Unions and 1969's In Place of Strife, this seminar has two parts. In the morning there is a historical reassessment of the political episode. In the afternoon, we consider the implications for current Labour Party policy on trade unions, as the Manifesto promises to ‘roll out sectoral bargaining’. The seminar is held at the Modern Records Centre, the largest UK trade union & industrial relations collection, which will be introduced to us.

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History & Policy Trade Union and Employment Forum

11am – 1pm ‘In Place of Strife’ in British History

Peter Dorey, author Comrades in Conflict: Labour, the Trade Unions & In Place of Strife (1969), Manchester 2019

David Lyddon, co- editor journal Historical Studies in Industrial Relations  


1pm – 2pm Lunch Talk on the MRC Trade Union & IR Collections


2pm – 4pm Sectoral bargaining as a strategy for British employment relations

Keith Ewing, co-author, A Manifesto for Labour Law, Institute of Employment Rights, 2016 awaiting final confirmation

Joe Dromey, author, Power to the People: How stronger unions can deliver economic justice, IPPR 2018

Peter Ackers, co-editor, Alternatives to State-Socialism, Palgrave 2016.


11:00 am - 16:00 pm

Modern Records Centre, Warwick University
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