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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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Remaking workplace trade unionism, 1968–75

Remaking workplace trade unionism, 1968–75

(p.158) 4 Remaking workplace trade unionism, 1968–75
Assembling Cultures

Jack Saunders

Manchester University Press

In the eyes of motor firms, industrial relations experts and politicians, the industrial relations that emerged in the 1960s were extremely disruptive, imposing unplanned wage costs and generating unnecessary strikes. The large car companies resolved to fix their problems via productivity bargaining, where pay rises would be swapped for improved efficiency and continuous production. De-centralised shop-floor bargaining would be swapped for centralised national agreements, reducing conflict. With their sectional autonomy curtailed, car worker activists responded by reinforcing central institutions, adding larger disputes and new tactics to their repertoire. These new forms of collective social power affected the ways that individual car workers could see the world, enabling a modest (but contested) form of politicisation to emerge.

Keywords:   Politics, Political cultures, Productivity, Autonomist Marxism, Class struggle, 1970s

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