Download Britain’s Productivity Problem, 1948–1990 by M. Bufton PDF

By M. Bufton

This quantity examines tried alterations to commercial family members in Britain in the course of 1948-1990, designed to advertise institutional reforms of administration and exchange unions. particular concentration is given to the Donovan fee and different alternate union reforms, and earning rules to attach pay extra tightly with productiveness. overseas projects of the AACP, BPC, and EPA also are integrated.

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Extra info for Britain’s Productivity Problem, 1948–1990

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British trade unions have, it is said, through their degree of craft work place control been able to retard the introduction of new technology in the industries of shoe production, textile manufacture, and the motor industry (Kilpatrick 28 Britain’s Productivity Problem, 1948–1990 and Lawson 1980). Lewchuk’s examination of the twentieth-century British motor industry concluded that UK trade unions and workers have held back the introduction of Fordism. The British motor vehicle industry grew up out of bicycle manufacture with its skilled craft workers.

The unions were powerful enough to determine piece rates unilaterally, and to also insist on the maintenance of wage lists, and the numbers of machines per worker, and this reduced the incentive of mill owners to introduce the new weaving technology (Lazonick 1986). In the shipbuilding industry, trade unions have been seen as a cause in the decline of an industry in which Britain once held undisputed world pre-eminence. A large number of craft unions, had grown up with the growth of the shipbuilding industry, and their strength was such that they could resist the employer using semi-skilled workers in areas of craft work.

Wadhwani’s study concludes that unions appear to have neither a positive nor a negative effect upon investment, productivity growth, and employment. Wadhwani used data from the 1984 Workplace Industrial Relations Survey and company accounts data for the period 1972–86. With respect to productivity growth Wadhwani found that unionised firms experienced faster productivity growth between 1980–84 but did not experience slower productivity growth over the periods 1975–79 and 1985–86. In searching for explanations, Wadhwani believed that Workers and Relative Economic Decline 35 the faster productivity growth may have been because of the severe recession in the early 1980s which caused unionised firms to shed their restrictive practices, which they probably had in greater amount than non-unionised firms at the start of the 1980s (Wadhwani 1990).

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