Worker Voice

Worker Voice

By Greg Patmore
Book Description

This book informs debates about worker participation in the workplace or worker voice by analysing comparative historical data relating to these ideas during the inter-war period in Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and the US. The issue is topical because of the contemporary shift to a workplace focus in many countries without a corresponding development of infrastructure at the workplace level, and because of the growing ‘representation gap’ as union membership declines. Some commentators have called for the introduction of works councils to address these issues. Other scholars have gone back and examined the experiences with the non-union Employee Representation Plans (ERPs) in Canada and the US. This book will test these claims through examining and comparing the historical record of previous efforts of five countries during a rich period of experimentation between the Wars. In addition to ERPs, the book expands the debate will by examining union-management co-operation, Whitley works committees and German works councils.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Contents
  • Tables
  • Illustrations
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abbreviations
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The Context
    • Explanations of Historical Patterns of Employee Representation
    • The Economy
    • Industry Scale and Structure
    • The Division of Labour and Technology
    • Trade Unionism and Politics
    • Employers and Managing Labour
    • The Role of the State
    • Conclusion
  • 3. The Concepts
    • Employee Representation Plans
    • Whitley Works Committees
    • The German Works Councils
    • Union-Management Cooperation
    • Conclusion
  • 4. The US
    • ERP – The Extent
    • ERP – The Impact
    • Cooperative Management – The Extent
    • Cooperative Management – The Impact
    • The Demise of ERPs and Union-Management cooperation during the 1930s
    • Conclusion
  • 5. The UK
    • The Extent of Whitley Works Committees
    • The Impact of Whitley Works Committees
    • Looking beyond the UK
    • Conclusion
  • 6. Germany
    • The Extent of German Works Councils
    • The Impact of German Works Councils
    • The Impact on Unions, Women and Employers
    • The Demise of German Works Councils
    • Conclusion
  • 7. Canada
    • ERPs – The Extent and Impact
    • An ERP – The Experience at the Sydney Steelworks, Nova Scotia
    • Union-Management Cooperation
    • Conclusion
  • 8. Australia
    • Influences
    • The Impact
    • Electrolytic Zinc
    • Conclusion
  • 9. Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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