Chapter 1    

Setting the scene

  • T&G at the centre of government
  • Keynesian management
  • The union as enforcer of incomes policy
  • The union as an instrument of Cold War foreign policy


Chapter 2    

Deakin as general secretary

  • Enforcing central control
  • Split with WFTU
  • Bans and proscriptions


Chapter 3    

The development of a mass shop stewards movement

  • Survey
  • Pen portraits key figures
  • Assertion of the centrality of lay members


Chapter 4    

A militant union and equalities

  • Actions for equal pay
  • Actions against racism
  • Significance of cooperative movement and women’s role


Chapter 5    

Workers assert their power: a decade of strikes

  • National dock strike 1945
  • London lorry drivers 1947
  • Dock strike: London and Mersey 1948
  • Rootes Humber strike
  • Solidarity strikes in the docks 1949 London tram drivers
  • Morris’s engine works 1953
  • BMC Longbridge: mass picketing 1956


Chapter 6    

Frank Cousins: reasserting Labour’s core values

  • T&G wins LabP for nuclear disarmament 1959
  • T&G stops abandonment of Clause 4 1960



All: survey of development of shops stewards movement Midlands: Rootes, Longbridge

London: Docks, trams, lorry drivers NW: docks

East Mids: Morris, Oxford


Strategic issues

  • A balancing of the benefits and dangers of the close identification/coordination between a union and government/state – the implicit sexism of Beveridge’s family wage
  • The benefits and costs of a Keynesian managed economy based on an incorporated TU movement – in the wider context of a global alliance with the US
  • How was support for a militant, Left union redeveloped within little more than a decade between 1945 and the mid- late 1950s?


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