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Assembling CulturesWorkplace Activism, Labour Militancy and Cultural Change in Britain's Car Factories, 1945-82$
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Jack Saunders

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526133397

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526133403

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Organising the car factories, 1945–64

Organising the car factories, 1945–64

(p.54) 2 Organising the car factories, 1945–64
Assembling Cultures

Jack Saunders

Manchester University Press

Chapter 2 traces the development of motor industry trade unionism from the 1945 to 1964. Prior to World War 2, car workers had little tradition of labour militancy. Car firms were generally anti-union and dismissed shop stewards and other people perceived to be troublemakers. Jobs were insecure and management authoritarian. This changed in the two decades that followed the war, as activists set about assembling cultures of solidarity and combativity within the workplace. Drawing on their own experiences of working life, workers introduced new social practices and painstakingly organised factories workshop-by-workshop, often risking dismissal and blacklisting for doing so. This chapter takes a detailed look at this process and looks to uncover how shared values, identities and cultures were built.

Keywords:   Solidarity, Union organising, Class consciousness, Culture, Militancy

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