Labor Relations in British Nationalized Industry

Labor Relations in British Nationalized Industry

Labor Relations in British Nationalized Industry

Labor Relations in British Nationalized Industry

Excerpt

IN GREAT BRITAIN, as in the rest of Europe, nationalization was offered as a revolutionary program intended to break the hold of private monopoly, redistribute wealth, rationalize the economy by abolishing the wastes of competition, substitute social objectives for private gain, free the worker from exploitation, and give him an interest in his job beyond mere wage earning. When the nationalization program was actually launched, however, its impact on the country was less than its supporters had expected. Taxation, social legislation, government regulation, and collective bargaining were already achieving many of the objectives that nationalization was intended to attain.

Nationalization came in Britain at a time when circumstances were the most favorable for the transition from private to public operation but the least auspicious for demonstrating the success of new economic experiments. The gap between conditions of private and public operation was at its narrowest, with stringent wartime controls that limited the freedom and discretion of private management still in force. At the same time the war's dislocations had reduced the nation's economy to its lowest ebb in modern times. Thus, whereas the transition from private to public management involved considerably less readjustment than if the change had taken place . . .

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