Social Democracy and Industrial Militiancy: The Labour Party, the Trade Unions and Incomes Policy, 1945-1947
by Leo Panitch
The attempt to establish a 'new social contract' between the Government and the unions, with a view to stabilising the economy and restraining ... Show synopsis The attempt to establish a 'new social contract' between the Government and the unions, with a view to stabilising the economy and restraining industrial militancy, emerged as a burning issues of contemporary British politics during the 1970s. This study uncovers the roots of this development in the incomes policies of successive post-war Governments, especially of the 1964-70 Labour Government, and traces the way in which wage restraint was secured from the unions, or imposed upon them, in the context of the attempted registration of the unions within the existing economic and political order. Professor Panitch concentrates on the crucial role of the Labour Party and shows how Labour's incomes policies, and industrial relations generally, have derived less from a concern with socialist economic planning than from the Party's 'integrative' ideology, its rejection of the concept of class struggle in favour of affecting a compromise between the different classes in British society.