`Everyone concerned over the construction of a truly social Europe will learn much from this thoughtful and probing study." - Professor Colin Crouch, Istituto Universitario Europeo In this comprehensive overview of trade unionism in Europe and beyond, Richard Hyman offers a fresh perspective on trade union identity, ideology and strategy. He shows how the varied forms and impact of different national movements reflect historical choices on whether to emphasize a role as market bargainers, mobilizers of class opposition or partners in social integration. The book demonstrates how these inherited traditions can serve as both resources and constraints in responding to the challenges which confront trade unions in
Chapter 5: British Trade Unionism: Between Market and Class
British Trade Unionism: Between Market and Class
British trade unionism has a history dating back more than two centuries: the ‘first industrial nation’ gave birth to the first national trade union movement. While labour historians commonly identify distinct ‘turning points’ (if only to facilitate the organization of their narratives), and there have indeed been periods of significant transformation, by comparison with most other countries what is striking in the British1 case is historical continuity – the persistence of many long-established traditions, in some respects specific to individual unions. ‘British trade unions, more than those of most countries perhaps, are historical deposits and repositories of history. And anyone with close experience of trade unionism will be aware of the extent ...