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Trade union functions

1Collective Bargaining Aim to raise wages=MPPxMR.Economic factors affecting:

aThe elasticity of the final product

bThe proportion of labour costs to total

cThe ease of factor substitution

dLevel of profits

eMacroeconomic influences

fState of the economy(economic growth - wage rises easier)


2Political action to enforce laws(young employment,elderly,safety)

3Union markup 10%

4restricts apprentices

5closed shop illegal


Labour relations in the UK

1/2(13m)in 1970,1/3(9.5m)now belong to unions

No.of strikes&belonging to unions has fallen significantly after 1980(coz supply side)

Majority of strikes is for higher wages

Sympathetic strikes(support other unions,illegal)and political strikes are rare in UK

1975Employment protection act favoured unions,union density up to 55%,now45%

Regional policy-Cumulative decline - history of trade unions discourage new firms enter

UK hasn't done as well as other West-European countries coz unions

Since conserv

1Employment act 1980 outlawed secondary picketing

2Trade union act1984 PRESTRIKE BALLOT(employer makes a better offer after ballot),5year representative ballot

3Restrictive labour practices - closed shop,now unlawful

41970-4 2900,1990-3 350stoppages/year.14m,<1m days lost

5pay inequality rose(1/5 income10%in79,6%in92,richest35%79,43%92, female75%88,80%94, av.wages2.7x80in94)

6more flexible markets(inequality&many lowpaid parttime jobs)

anumerical-atypical cheap labour,effective plant operation(24h),stress,high turnover,unmotivated,lot in UK

bfunctional-adopts to demand,range of products with same workforce,investment in human capital,high wage,core labour,good when demand stable

7wage councils abolished

8public sector pay frozen

Effects to productivity


1Union supports management efficiency

2Encourages cooperation

3Improving communications by collective voice


1No techics

2No organisational change

3Wrong working rules


5Demarcation(ships)-maintain demand for labour

membership declines

1Recession&unemployment fear factor

2rising real wages&low inflation

3antiunion legislation(supply-side)

4younger workforce

5less co.s recognise unions(success rate)(manufacture declines,firms that recognised haven't closed,new firms dont recognise-aggressive management)

6more private sector


8contracting-out of manual services in public co

9high among teacher

10many co.birth

11part-time work


1craft-similar job(NGA)

2industrial union-open to all in industry(NUM)

3general-all unskilled(TGWU)

4white collar(NUteachers)

5TUC-trade union congress(general represen)

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