2019 04 – Trade Unionism and ‘In Place of Strife’

The Trade Union and Employment Forum Conference

In Place of Strife (1969): Trade Union legal rights & responsibilities revisited

Saturday 27 April 2019, 11am-4pm

Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL


Fifty years ago, the conflict between the Harold Wilson Labour Government and the trade unions over Secretary of State for Employment Barbara Castle’s White Paper In Place of Strife was one of the pivotal moments of post-war British Industrial Relations. It pitched voluntarist ideas of ‘free collective bargaining’ against ideas of economic planning and public policy concerns about strikes, inflation and restrictive practices. The white paper followed the 1968 Donovan Report and preceded Heath’s Conservative 1971 Industrial Relations Act.

In response to Peter Dorey’s new book on ‘In Place of Strife’, this day has two parts. In the morning there is a historical reassessment of the political episode. In the afternoon, we consider the implications for current Labour Party policy on trade unions, as the Manifesto promises to ‘roll out sectoral bargaining’. The seminar is held at the Modern Records Centre, the largest UK trade union and industrial relations collection, which will also be introduced to us.


Speakers include:


Professor Peter Dorey, Professor of British Politics at Cardiff University and author of   Comrades in Conflict: Labour, the Trade Unions and In Place of Strife  (2019)

Dr David Lyddon, founding editor of the journal   Historical Studies in Industrial Relations

Lisa Martineau, journalist and author of   Politics & Power: Barbara Castle, a biography  (2011)

Joe Dromey, Deputy Director of the Learning and Work Institute and author (at IPPR) of   Power to the People: how stronger unions can deliver economic justice  (IPPR 2018)

Professor Peter Ackers, co-editor (with Dr Alastair Reid) of   Alternatives to State-Socialism: Other Worlds of Labour in the Twentieth Century  (Palgrave 2016)


Refreshments are provided and the cost is £12 – to register and pay please sign up on Eventbrite