Throughout the 1980s Mrs Thatcher dominated political life in the UK and Thatcherism became the shorthand for a series of political initiatives all over the world. Most accounts of these years have concentrated on the economics of free markets and privatization. This book takes a different stance through a detailed analysis of the responses of NALGO (The National and Local Government Officers Association) members, activists, leaders, and officials to the government's public sector reform and restructuring programme. Employees in health, local government, and education faced cuts in funding, compulsory competitive tendering, internal markets, and new management practices associated with HRM and TQM. Others in the gas, water, electricity, and transport industries faced wholesale privatization. This unique account of the period written from the evidence and perspective of those involved will be an important source for researchers, teachers, and practitioners in politics, industrial relations, public administration, and management concerned with the events and lessons of the 1980s.
If you think this is just another self-congratulatory trade union history, wherein aged ex-activists celebrate their trade union careers, you are mistaken. This is a bit of a cracker ... This book is an appropriate testament to the roles played by oustanding trade unionists * Ivan Beavis, Morning Star, 9 May 2001 * This book deals very well with the issues which led to the merger of NALGO, NUPE and COHSE - three proud, strong and independent trade unions ... This is not the usual stodge of political anecdote, but a fascinating insight into an important part of our recent industrial struggle. * Ivan Beavis, Morning Star, 9 May 2001 * deserves to be widely read. It is a work of academic distinction and is informed by an understanding attitude to trade unionism set out in its opening chapter ... provides a radical commentary on the theory of industrial relations and throws new light on the damaging consequences of Thatcher's period of office. * Jim Mortimer, Socialist Campaign Group News, 10, July 2001 *