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Industrial Relations Act

Industrial Relations Act, 1971. The Act, designed by a newly elected Conservative government (which abandoned incomes policy) to weaken the bargaining powers of trade unions, had its origins in the problems encountered by earlier administrations, such as excessive wage demands, unofficial strikes, and inter-union disputes. Unions had to register to keep their legal privileges; before a strike, they had to hold secret ballots of their members, effectively a cooling-off period; a National Industrial Relations Court was to ensure that these provisions were kept, and the Commission for Industrial Relations, established by Labour (1969), was to iron out inter-union conflicts.

John Butt

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