This book, originally published in 1995 is a study of crisis management in the electricity supply industry during the 20th century. The full implications of the vulnerability of the industry are examined, with special reference to past industrial action. The authors were well placed to know how close the industry came on more than one occasion to disaster. In the wake of privatisation challenging and controversial questions are asked, which are of fundamental importance to the economy, quality of life and political stability of the country. An account is also given of the past structure, technology and industrial relations of the industry. This volume is an excellent case-study for students of post war politics, public sector management and industrial relations.



part I|309 pages

Trials of strength

chapter 3|288 pages

1949: Reds under the bed?

chapter 4|278 pages

1970: Working to whose rules?

chapter 5|271 pages

1971–2: The edge of darkness

chapter 6|257 pages

1973-4: Heath and the miners

chapter 7|244 pages

1977: No work, no pay

part II|238 pages

The miners’ strike 1984–5

chapter 8|232 pages

Conflict in context

chapter 9|225 pages

Preparations for the inevitable?

chapter 10|7 pages

Overtime ban

chapter 11|210 pages


chapter 12|18 pages

Facing up to the long haul

chapter 13|16 pages

Can we get through the winter?

chapter 14|11 pages


chapter 15|153 pages

Back to normal and counting the cost

part III|89 pages

Resource management in the 1984–5 miners’ strike

chapter 16|14 pages

Coal on the move

chapter 17|15 pages

Oil: the £4 billion story

chapter 18|114 pages

The power system: innovation and flexibility

chapter 20|11 pages

Generating plant: problems and opportunities

chapter 21|5 pages

The managers, the unions and the staff

chapter 22|79 pages

Who is my brother?

chapter 23|70 pages

Partners: the distribution boards

chapter 24|7 pages

Information: handle with care

part IV|18 pages

The future