Worker Militancy, Trade Unionism and Industrial Relations
This chapter reviews and assesses the existing work on militancy with a view to its suitability as a conceptual tool for studying postal workers and to ask a number of pertinent questions about militancy. The first writings examined explicitly deal with militancy while the second group of writings consider militancy in a more implicit way. The chapter relates the studies of militancy to the wider issues of workplace unionism and union renewal and resilience. Workplace and national unionisms have a general interest in establishing and maintaining 'orderly' industrial relations, whether of a 'strong bargaining relationship' nature or otherwise. The attitudinal and behavioural studies have assumed that militancy is relatively non-complex issue with regard to the internal dynamics of different groups (workers, members, union, employer) and their interactions, the outcomes of these and the micro- and macro-contexts in which these processes take place. With these limitations in mind, the chapter examines the major two explicit writings on militancy.