chapter  12
5 Pages


ByGregor Gall

In investigating for evidence of militancy, a number of wider issues were necessarily examined, these being workplace and national unionisms within the compass of industrial relations, the employment relationship and the balance of power between capital and labour. This chapter seeks to step back from this investigation to reflect upon the wider issues raised in studying postal workers. These revolve around the dialectic interplay of generalisation and specificity, abstract and concrete, potentiality and probability. Militancy and strength are not universal features throughout the different levels of the union. The relationship between workplace and national unionisms is a mixed one. The determination of many important terms and conditions at work outright or through interpretation of national agreements at the local level has helped stimulate and sustain workplace unionism, often leading it to focus less on developments nationally within Royal Mail (RM) and the union, giving the latter greater autonomy.