The ‘Decollectivisation of Industrial Relations’ is now a significant theme in the policy of the Conservative Government and that of a growing, if still small number, of companies and state agencies. Its theoretical justification is a ‘neo‐ classical’ economic perspective in which the contract of employment is conceived as a market relationship between symmetrical parties and organisations of capital and labour are differently evaluated. The collective nature of the former is subsumed under its legal individual personality and only certain monopolies and monopoly practices are considered illegitimate. Unions, however, are viewed as coercive organisations which intrude upon the contract of employment to distort the labour market through the imposition of a ‘rent’ upon the hire of labour by capital; as a result, either labour costs are raised and profits reduced or the wages of non‐union labour are suppressed. The neo‐classical perspective is thus hostile to collective power of unions as such rather than ‘excesses’ of that power which could be redressed by ‘shifting the balance’ to employers as was the stated objective of the Employment Act 1980 (Wedderburn 1989).
Smith, P. and Morton, G. (1990), "Decollectivisation of Industrial Relations: Union Exclusion in Theory and Practice", Management Research News, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 21-23. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb028097Download as .RIS
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