• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Account for the decline in trade union power, 1964-1990

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Khalimov Murad ?Account for decline in trade union power, 1964-1990?. Long before Mrs. Thatcher came into power in 1979, Trade Unions were very important for the post war consensus governments. Both, Labour and Conservative party had been, in some way, dependent on Union?s support for their governments. Workers also had public support, which only strengthen their position and influence in the country. But with the time, Trade Unions started to demand more and more, undermining government and having exaggerated opinion about their own power. These led to actions from government that wanted to reduce their power and led to clashes between workers and decision makers. Soon it led to political crisis?s; energy crisis and loses of support of public by Trade Unions. The refusal for compromise led to a loss of the ?war? to Mrs. Thatcher in 1984 and Unions were never as strong as they were in post war consensus era anymore. One of the first modern clashed with trade unions happened during Wilson?s Prime Ministry. Labour was depended on Union?s support, as any other party that would be in charge, and thus in order to keep them happy Wilson appointed trade unionist Frank Cousins minister of technology. Wilson also relied on keeping good relations with the TUC (Trade Union Congress). He also proposed Price & Incomes policy. This policy was meant to stop wage rise by negotiating with unions in order to keep inflation down. ...read more.

Middle

All unions need to be on government register. However the policy did not work as expected. None of the unions registered in the government. TUC and CBI were opposed to it. The IRC proved to be ineffective in dealing with disputes. Also it did not prevent strikes, there were 2 major strikes in 1972, by the miners in January and by the railwaymen three months later. Miners strike lasted six weeks during the time of harsh winter weather. The strike stopped the movement of coal around the country. The energy crisis began which led to a so-called ?3 day week? which was introduced in order to conserve energy suppliers. This strike not only angered the government but voters as well. They blamed unions in cut of energy supplies and introduction of the ?3 day week?. The NUM leader, Joe Gormley, was a moderate Lancastrian with a good sense of public relations. He negotiated a generous wage settlement accompanied by other concessions. Although the strike looked like a clear victory against businesses and government it was arguably the main point when unions were doomed to decline in the future. Margaret Thatcher would learn on Heath?s mistake. Also, unions seemed to lose public support. Although miners did hard and dirty job, people could not tolerate the level of impudence unions had which led to emergency situation in the country. However unions were still strong and inspired by big victory and were looking for further actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

The key factor in the defeat of the NUM was probably Arthur Scargill himself. Scargill alienated moderates; he never got the support of the Labour Party leadership. Many people felt sympathy for the mining communities and many disapproved of Margaret Thatcher?s description of the strikers as ?the enemy within? but it was easy for Thatcher and her allies in the press to demonise Scargill as a dangerous revolutionary challenging the democratically elected government. Scargill?s all-or-nothing tactics almost certainly made the final defeat of the NUM worse; pit closures would have happened anyway but more pits were closed than would have been the case if the NUM had negotiated with the National Coal Boar (NCB), rather than gamble on a politically motivated strike. The results of the miner?s strike went far beyond the coal industry. The power of the unions was dramatically reduced. By 1990 total union membership was only two-thirds of what it had been in 1979. Other state industries such as British Steel and British Airways were reorganized with massive job loses. The ability of the unions to intimidate governments was gone for good. Previous Union victories played big roles in this. Although they were benefiting for themselves they angered public as their actions led to disastrous consequences for the country. Also Thatcher government new it is going to face challenge from Unions and thus prepared by storing coal which was used during the NUM strike 1984-1985. Union?s uncompromised position to ?In Place of Strife? and any other attempt of negotiation led to their loss at the end as they had too many enemies being against them. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Free essay

    DECLINE OF STAPLE INDUSTRIES AND THE GENERAL STRIKE OF 1926

    The coal owners proposed a wage cut but this was rejected by the workers. The government averted a strike initially by offering two things. Firstly, by offering subsidies and secondly, by appointing the Samuel Commission. The TUC was ready to support the miners as usually all wages followed the trends of the miners.

  2. women in 1960s

    Also in 1967 the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, legalized abortion if two doctors consented that it was needed on medical or psychological grounds. Reform of the Divorce law in 1969 meant that a divorce could be issued but only on the grounds if the marriage broke down after two

  1. Was Kenilworth a typical medieval castle?

    one of his wives died soon after they married, she happened to be very wealthy and all of her fortune was left to him. John of Gaunt spent a lot of time at the castle and so had the accommodation of the inner court completely rebuilt.

  2. The Crash.

    One of them thanked him and put the money in her bag which looked as if it was full of money. For a moment Richard hesitated and murmured "Why I am helping them? They earn better than I do". But then he forgot about it and carried on his way.

  1. Warner Bros.' GoodFellas (1990) is director Martin Scorsese's stylistic masterpiece - a follow-up film ...

    Conway puts four bullets into the already-limp body. Henry witnesses the enormity of the violence and slams the trunk shut. As a freeze-frame holds on Henry's face and the main title credits play (with a blood-red title for the film), his autobiographical, voice-over narration confirms his choice of a lucrative,

  2. History Of Framlingham Castle

    Thomas Howard was imprisoned in the tower of London and was going to be executed on the 24th of June 1547 luckily for Thomas, Henry dies before the execution date. Mary Tudor Edward VI came to the thrown and gave Framlingham to his sister Mary.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work