The smack of firm government?
in What about the workers?
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During the 1950s successive Conservative governments found themselves confronted by a complex policy problem: how to combine full employment with low inflation. Within this, union wage demands and the growth of industrial, especially unofficial, action loomed large. Central to government strategy was exploiting the traditional consultative relationship with the unions and the TUC to endorse and promote wage moderation and curb unofficial strikes. This was, however, opposed by rank-and-file union members and their leaders, and the result was an increase in internal conflict in the unions that undermined the State’s relationship with the unions. As efforts to enmesh the unions in a tighter relationship failed, increasing numbers of Conservatives were attracted to the radical reform of trade union and industrial relations law.

What about the workers?

The Conservative Party and the organised working class in modern British politics.

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