Trade union organisation

During the period 1945-1995, trade union membership grew to a peak of 13,212,000 in 1979 and then declined. There were associated shifts in bargaining power and the influence exercised over governments. These movements were influenced by factors such as

- changes in technology

- impact of government policies and legislation

- mergers and extension of recruitment strategies

- changes in unions’ internal structure

- deindustrialisation and deregulation of the economy

Resources available on this site related to trade union organisation:

- Read a learning narrative on trade union organisation, a paper written by written by Roger Undy, University of Oxford.

- View images relating to trade union organisation.

- Hear audio interviews.

- Search the collection for resources relating to "trade union organisation").

Examples of interview resources:

No, I wasn’t in a trade union because Gillette was sort of almost, well almost, it was a non-union firm. There were people that came from other industries in there that would maintain their union membership, but they weren’t necessarily recognised within the company. And there was a structure within the company where each of about twelve, fourteen areas or departments elected a representative to sit on the Works Committee.

Anonymous 2. Read and hear more

... they were anti-trade union, there was no trade unions there, except I understand amongst the skilled workers like the electricians and engineers who were probably organised. But all the other people were not organised and they frowned upon trade unions.


Eddie Adams. Read and hear more

One of the difficulties was of course that having been an active trade unionist, and a shop steward in many of those shops, finding jobs wasn’t very easy! Because they didn’t ... want you.

Frank Cooper describing his experiences as a union member 1950 1970. Read and hear more