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Charting the coverage of collective pay setting institutions 1895-1990

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Fewer than 50% of British employees now have their pay and conditions affected by collective pay setting institutions - collective bargaining or wage councils. This paper provides an historical context to the current picture of a decollectivised Britain, constructing a time series on coverage from 1895-1990. Extant estimates and sources of coverage data are presented and discussed alongside estimates drawn from a source used only sparingly before now - the number of workers affected by changes in wage rates of national agreements or wage orders. The various manipulations required to convert these data into coverage estimates are detailed at length. The recent decline in collective bargaining coverage is the longest period ever recorded and has been noticeably steeper than the fall in union density, such that the proportion of British workers covered in lower now than in the 1940s. Given the abolition of wages councils in 1993, collective pay setting machinery now affects the pay and conditions of less workers than it did in the 1930s.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20801/1/Charting_the_Coverage_of_Collective_Pay_Setting_Institutions_1895-1990.pdf

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