Over the last 20 years or so much work has inevitably focused on the relationship between British labour relations and poor economic performance. The usual approach has been to concentrate on certain features of economic decline, either by case study or general survey work and examine the degree of coincidence with labour relations features; hence the overwhelming perspective has been one of labour relations as a problem, or at least a significant contributory factor, to relative failure (Batstone, 1984, chap. 4). In contrast, the focus here is on what may be seen as a relatively successful industry both in economic and labour management terms. The intention is thus to explore this success and the extent to which labour relations have contributed, or more negatively, not inhibited it.