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National wage rate claims and settlements: an exploratory study of trade union bargaining power

Halfpenny, P. and Abell, Peter (1980) National wage rate claims and settlements: an exploratory study of trade union bargaining power. Sociology, 14 (2). pp. 183-215. ISSN 0038-0385

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Identification Number: 10.1177/003803858001400201


Have British Trade Unions increased their power since the Second World War? To answer this question the concept of power is analysed. Three logically independent but contingently connected dimensions are distinguished: potential power, the exercise of power and the result of power. The bargaining power of a Trade Union is defined, independently of its potential power, as its exercise of power in institutionalized national wage rate bargaining with employers. A simplified model is devised, where bargaining power is operationalized in terms of preferences (claims) and the results of power (settlements). Application of this model to nine groups of workers represented by five large British Trade Unions shows that there has been no linear increase in their bargaining power over the period 1947 to 1970.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1980 The Authors
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials by Skill, Training, Occupation, etc.
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2011 14:08
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:26

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