Trade Union Government and Administration in Great Britain

Trade Union Government and Administration in Great Britain

Trade Union Government and Administration in Great Britain

Trade Union Government and Administration in Great Britain

Excerpt

The origin of this book lay in a grant made to the London School of Economics and Political Science by the Passfield Trust for the purpose of financing research into social and political institutions. At the suggestion of the late Professor H. J. Laski, I undertook to make a broad study of the government and administration of British trade unions. With the aid of the grant from the Passfield Trust it was possible to make an extensive examination of the majority of unions affiliated to the Trades Union Congress and to examine a smaller number intensively.

In writing this book two main considerations were kept in mind. The first was to provide a source of factual information, covering the procedures of government and methods of administration, that would be of value to those engaged in studying trade unionism, whether as teachers or students. The second was to investigate current problems and to assess possible future trends of development.

One of the outstanding features of British trade unions is the immense variety of their constitutional forms. Each union is unique and has a personality and way of doing things which is all its own. Inevitably, in a broad survey of this kind the special quality of each union has to be sacrificed to the general impression. It may be felt by trade union readers of this volume that something which they regard as of major importance concerning their own organizations has not been mentioned or is under-emphasized. Unfortunately, it was impossible to discuss every aspect of the material gathered together without extending the length of an already large book. Since trade unions are dynamic organizations they are constantly revising their constitutions and administrative practices, thus when this book appears some of the information will already be out of date, but the changes that will have occurred are unlikely to have been so fundamental as to alter seriously the picture of trade union government and administration as it was at the time of writing.

Many members of the trade union movement have . . .

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