Throughout the 1980s British port employers had increased their pressure on Government to repeal the National Dock Labour Scheme (NDLS); a scheme introduced in 1947 to regulate the employment of dockworkers. The port employers had continually argued that the main cause of the uncompetitive nature and poor performance of the British ports in comparison to its European neighbours was the Dock Labour Scheme. Deregulation was seen as not only the answer to revitalising the British port industry itself, but essential to enable ports to compete in the Single European Market. The employers' demands were answered with the abolition of the NDLS in 1989. Since this time, competition between British ports has intensified, with substantial job losses accompanying the introduction of radically different working practices.
Turnbull, P. and Weston, S. (1991), "State Intervention, Employment Regulation and Port Performance: Diverging Patterns of Development in Europe", Management Research News, Vol. 14 No. 10, pp. 30-30. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb028182
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