Thursday 21 May 2020, 6pm-8pm
Andrew Brady will introduce his recent book:
Unions and Employment in a Market Economy, Strategy, Influence and Power in Contemporary Britain (Routledge 2019)
Other speakers included Sir Ian McCartney and Tom Wilson.
The Seminar was chaired by Helen Hague.
Andrew Brady was awarded his PhD from the University of Strathclyde in 2017. He has held various positions within Unite the Union and is currently based in Scotland in the union’s Political, Research & Campaigns Unit.
Sir Ian McCartney was Shadow Minister, Minister of State, and Cabinet Minister 1992–2007 and led the Labour Government’s work on employment and employment rights.
Tom Wilson was Director of Unionlearn at the TUC until 2017. He has also worked for the GMB, the Labour Party as Trade Union Liaison Officer, the AUT and Natfhe (now UCU).
Helen Hague is a journalist and has recently worked on a history of the Fire Brigades Union.
Professor Simon Deakin and Professor Michael Gold talk on ‘What the UK's membership of the EU has entailed for workers’ rights and how the UK might achieve dynamic alignment of these rights after Brexit.’
50 years ago, the conflict between the Harold Wilson Labour Government & 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 & 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 on 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.
In 1868, while suffering under major legal restrictions, the British trade unions teamed up to found a central body to lobby for their wider social and industrial aims and rights. Today, when unions are again subject to severe legal disadvantage, it is timely to recall the first Trades Union Congress (TUC) and unions’ achievements, and to look forward on union prospects for the future.
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