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The Growth of Trade Unionism in the London clearing banks, 1960-1970:a sociological interpretation

By John Christopher Heritage


This study deals with the growth of unionisation in\ud the London Clearing Banks between 1960 and 1970. In\ud Chapter One the growth of white collar occupations and white\ud collar trade unionism in the British economy is briefly\ud characterised. After a review of the literature on the\ud determinants of white collar unionisation in Chapter Two\ud and a discussion of the nature and history of banking as an\ud occupation, the collective organisations recruiting in the\ud banking industry and the nature of labour relations in\ud banking in Chapter Three, a model of bank workers' orientations to work, employment and trade unions is hypothesized in Chapter Four. This model is tested and revised in Chapters Five and Six by reference to a survey of bank workers'attitudes conducted by the author during 1972 and 1973. The revised model is then used in Chapter Seven as part of an apparatus of interpretation of the history of industrial relations in banking during the decade 1960-70.\ud \ud In interpreting the growth of trade unionism in the\ud London Clearing Banks, causal factors - such as employment\ud concentration and employer recognition - which currently\ud enjoy a wide currency in explaining white collar union\ud growth are rejected as major explanatory variables for\ud banking. Instead, attention is concentrated on the internal\ud occupational structure of banking and the changing\ud characteristics of the labour force recruited to this structure. It is argued that the increasingly bureaucratized and feminized character of bank employment during the 'sixties was the central factor influencing the growth and recognition of the National Union of Bank Employees.\ud \ud In a concluding Chapter, aspects of banking as an occupation are compared with national trends in the white collar occupational structure in an attempt to assess the sociological impact of the feminisation of routine white collar occupations on the growth of white collar unionism and the class identification of white collar workers

Publisher: School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Year: 1977
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