This textbook reviews major issues concerning the history of British trade unions in the last two-thirds of the twentieth century. Even with the decline in membership of the 1980s and 1990s, trade unions in Britain have remained the largest voluntary organisations in the country and the total membership has remained larger than in most other countries. The book discusses many major aspects of trade unionism and many controversies concerning it, including strikes (sometimes seen as a peculiarly 'British disease'). Trade union presence in the labour market has been deemed a cause of higher unemployment and lower productivity. The trade unions have been accused of being insensitive on gender and ethnicity. They have also been accused of being corporatist, unelected partners in government (especially in the 1940-1979 period). Overall, this book gives students a lucid and up-to-date introduction to the recent history of British trade unionism.

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