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Managing the UnionsThe Impact of Legislation on Trade Unions' Behaviour$
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Roger Undy, Patricia Fosh, Huw Morris, Paul Smith, and Roderick Martin

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198289197

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289197.001.0001

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The Union Context

The Union Context

(p.11) 2 The Union Context
Managing the Unions

Roger Undy

Patricia Fosh

Huw Morris

Paul Smith

Roderick Martin

Oxford University Press

Kessler and Bayliss (1992) illustrated how the union leaders were not prepared for the adverse political and economic changes that unions underwent in the 1980s. Since this study aims to analyse the key features of the environmental changes on the structure and processes of the union government, this chapter is concerned with explaining the factors represented in the linked upper and lowers arcs in the diagram shown in the previous chapter. This chapter discusses how the Conservatives set an agenda that undermined trade unionism and at the same time, a rhetorical denigration of trade unions came about. It also introduces Human Resource Management (HRM) techniques to address the changes that unions experienced from the changes in the labour market that are evident in employers' policies. In line with the changes, unions went through reorganization and also made ways to adapt to a more favourable political climate.

Keywords:   unions, employer policies, political changes, economic changes, trade unionism, human resource management

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