Partnership: New Labour’s Third Way?

Upchurch, Martin ORCID logoORCID: (2008) Partnership: New Labour’s Third Way? In: Trade Unions in a Neoliberal World: British Trade Unions under New Labour. Daniels, Gary and McIlroy, John, eds. Routledge Research in Employment Relations . Routledge, London, pp. 230-253. ISBN 9780415426633, pbk-ISBN 9780415603096, e-ISBN 9780203887738. [Book Section] (doi:10.4324/9780203887738-15)


Partnership at work has been a central theme of the New Labour years. Defining what the phrase means in theory and practice has proved difficult and contentious. Despite this, debate over partnership has dominated the industrial relations literature combining case study analysis with broader commentary.1 Formalized union-employer collaboration was already evident in the 1980s under the Conservative governments in the guise of the ‘single union deal’ version of business unionism. The ‘new realist’ turn many unions made in the 1980s was a defensive response to the onslaught launched by the Thatcher governments. However, inter-union disputes over single union sweetheart deals left a bad taste in the mouth of the TUC and its affiliates and this form of business unionism fell into disrepute (McIlroy 1995: 215-19). Despite these early difficulties partnership has become a prominent feature of New Labour’s industrial strategy since its election in 1997, indicating some continuity with the previous experiment.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > Business School
A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Employment Relations group
Item ID: 1433
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Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2009 11:43
Last Modified: 15 May 2021 03:26

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