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Title: Shopfloor trade unionism at Herbert's : a case study in the development and demise of workplace organisation
Author: Grainger, Kenneth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3510 7658
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1988
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Through a case study, this thesis explores the limitations of workplace unionism among shopfloor engineering workers. This subject is examined through an historical case study of one machine tool factory, Herbert's Edgwick plant, and an account of the research process itself. The historical approach shows how far the limitations of workplace unionism at Edgwick resulted from the resilience of a distinctive accommodation between skilled workers and managers. It also reports several findings that parallel those made in other labour studies. However, greater emphasis is placed on (1) the stewards' active reproduction of sectionalism - detailing, particularly, the impact on women and Asian workers - and (2) the corporatist politics that arose out of their pragmatism. This study also challenges some contemporary theories about both the politics of new technology and the internal centralisation of workplace organisations. The narrative of the research process links together the subject of the case study with the experience of the Coventry Machine Tool Committee's campaign for import controls. It does this both chronologically, by showing how my research came to focus on Edgwick, and thematically by highlighting the common limitations in workplace unionism which led to the CMTC's demise and the dispirited opposition to massive redundancies at Herbert's. The first two chapters develop the setting and identify key issues by providing a biography of the research process. Chapters 3 to 9 provide the main narrative and analysis by tracing the historical development of industrial relations at Herbert's and detailing key events leading up to Edgwick's closure in 1983. Chapter 10 links the case study with the combine and considers the 'pragmatic' character of the stewards' politics. Chapter 11 draws the thesis to a close by reviewing the main findings of the case study and considering their wider relevance to the study of workplace politics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor