Hanks, Andrew (2016) Union representation under restructuring and austerity: The case of Unite in the Ministry of Defence. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This doctoral thesis seeks to answer the question what factors influence Trade Union representation? Using a case study design, the researcher uses documentary analysis and elite, semi-structured interviews, to evaluate the knowledge and experiences of union representatives, both nationally and workplace based, working in the MoD sector of Unite.

This study of a relatively under-researched part of the public sector, demonstrates that for union representation to be effective: the union needs to be recognised for the purpose of collective bargaining; members need access to shop stewards and full time officials; clear structures need to be in place, demonstrating how the union should function; and the union needs to be able to protect and further the interests of its members. It is concluded that in the MoD sector of Unite this does not happen, meaning that representation is not effective.

This research highlights a need for greater appreciation of the complexities of the super or conglomerate type unions that have emerged in response to union decline. It demonstrates, in particular, the need for the seminal work of Turner (1962) to be systematically updated and for further research to be carried out into the influence of factions on union government.

The contemporary relevance of this research relates to the dramatic cuts to facility time that it analyses, alongside the government’s privatisation policies, providing empirical evidence of the difficulties that could be faced by British trade unions, if the Trade Union Reform Bill, going through parliament at the time of writing, is passed into law. The MoD Employee Relations review can be seen as a test bed for the Bill’s components on the restriction of trade union facility time in the public sector, and this thesis is, therefore, timely.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Keele Management School
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2016 09:07
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 09:07
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2455

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