Private power and public relations: The effects of privatization upon industrial relations in British Coal

Jonathan Winterton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Privatization has been a key element in Conservative economic strategy to promote efficient allocation of resources, reduce public-sector borrowing, and remove state interference in industry. Privatization of the energy industries has been a priority because of their size and their strategic role in the economy. British Coal (BC) has a virtual monopoly of indigenous coal production, but this market power is outweighed by the monopsonistic advantage of the Central Electricity Generating Board, (CEGB), which has pursued a policy of fuel supply diversification. The privatization of electricity supply guarantees that the pressures on BC from internationally traded coal will intensify. Electricity privatization will effectively liberalize the coal industry. This chapter analyses the managerial offensive which has been apparent since the defeat of the 1984–1985 strike and assesses its effect upon pit-level industrial relations in Yorkshire. Organized labour represents the major barrier to the attainment of corporate objectives which have been identified as prerequisites for the privatization of coal mining.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Forms of Ownership
Subtitle of host publicationManagement and Employment
EditorsGlenville Jenkins, Michael Poole
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351393676, 9781315141770
ISBN (Print)9781138306455, 9781138306417, 113830641X
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Library Editions: Employee Ownership and Economic Democracy


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