Union Business: Trade Union Organisation and Financial Reform in the Thatcher Years

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It is fashionable to speak of trades unions in the UK as organisations in decline. However, it is their organisation and, in particular, their financial status, which ultimately dictates unions' ability to survive, recruit, and influence employers. This book provides the first systematic picture of union financial status for thirty years, and reveals a dramatic picture. Though, overall, unions have become financially less healthy in the post-war period, many unions experienced an improved financial position during the membership contraction of the Thatcher years. It also shows that the long term financial decline of unions has been more affected by competition between unions for membership than by the effects of traumatic industrial disputes.