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Solidarity, Global Restructuring and Deregulation: The Liverpool Dockers' Dispute 1995-98

Clua Losada, Monica (2010) Solidarity, Global Restructuring and Deregulation: The Liverpool Dockers' Dispute 1995-98. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The Liverpool dockers’ dispute 1995-98 exemplifies the type of environment many workers’ faced during the 1990s. The British experience provides a particularly relevant paradigm due to the specific interactions that developed between economic restructuring, political deregulatory processes and trade union responses after the 1979 election which saw Thatcher’s government embark upon a complete overhaul of this relationship. The Liverpool case brings together all those issues. The thesis draws on a wide range of materials, both oral and archival, which have been previously unstudied, presenting the first fulllength academic study of the dispute and its background. The focus of the thesis examines how workers articulate solidarity in the new environment marked by economic restructuring and political deregulation. It does so by proposing three analytical categories: (1) economic restructuring and political regulatory processes, (2) trade union strategies and (3) workplace and community experience and popular historical memories. The thesis argues that the interaction between these three categories is what shaped the different political articulations of solidarity and their successes and failures, during the 1990s. The analysis of this interaction suggests that the organisational dynamics that developed during the dispute, exemplify a tension between centralising processes of trade unionism and searches for organisational autonomy by particular groups of workers. These dynamics are not necessarily specific to that period, but rather rooted in their remembered historical experience. Thus, a conceptualisation of the political articulation of solidarity as a contested arena can provide an indication of workers’ organisational capabilities in particular periods.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: trade unions, Transport and General Workers Union, Liverpool, dockworkers, port restructuring, labour relations
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: Ms Monica Clua Losada
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 10:13
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1137

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