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The Law of the Labour MarketIndustrialization, Employment, and Legal Evolution$
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Simon Deakin and Frank Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198152811

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198152811.001.0001

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Collective Bargaining and Social Legislation

Collective Bargaining and Social Legislation

(p.200) 4 Collective Bargaining and Social Legislation
The Law of the Labour Market

Simon Deakin

Frank Wilkinson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the core labour market institution of collective bargaining between trade unions and employers, and its relationship to social legislation governing conditions of employment. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 considers the roots of the modern industrial relations systems in the second half of the 19th century. Section 3 looks at the response of the state to the rise of collective bargaining in terms of the law relating to conciliation and arbitration, the enforcement of collective agreements, the imposition of minimum statutory standards through the Factory Acts and Trade Board Acts, and statutory support for national collective bargaining. Section 4 examines the economic context and consequences of collective laissez-faire, focusing on the sensitivity of union membership and effectiveness in response to shifts in the wider fiscal and macroeconomic environment. Sections 5 and 6 considers the implications for the practice and philosophy of collective laissez-faire of the successive industrial relations policy initiatives of the post 1945-period. Section 7 concludes by assessing the legacy of collective laissez-faire.

Keywords:   labour market, collective bargaining, industrial relations, collective laissez-faire, union membership

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