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The persistence of the internal labour market in changing circumstances: the british film production industry during and after the closed shop.

Reid, Iain (2008) The persistence of the internal labour market in changing circumstances: the british film production industry during and after the closed shop. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Internal labour market theory states that the administrative rules and customs that restrict access and regulate the deployment of labour in craft markets will eventually be converted by trade unions into formal collective agreements, preferably enforced by closed shops. However there have been few opportunities to examine what happens when that process is reversed and the protection of those two institutions are removed. The demise of the closed shop in Britain is generally attributed to Mrs Thatcher's Conservative governments whose successive Employment Acts were intended to remove obstacles to the free functioning of the labour market. However, this research will argue, using the example of the British film production industry, that regardless of the political action it is unlikely that the pre-entry closed shop would have survived the technical and social changes of the 1980s. It also shows that many of the constraining practices and principles associated with the industry's internal labour market persist. By tracing the origins of organised labour in the early British film production industry, this research considers whether that closed shop, created by unusual wartime circumstances, merely endorsed the informal rules and customs that characterised an established closed craft community. It will demonstrate that continuity has been possible because internal labour market practices ensure that on-the-job training is only available to those likely to perpetuate the established working practices and demarcation. Furthermore, management are complicit because the efficiencies in screening and training means that a compatible trained workforce is always available. For contrast, it will be shown that in television and video production, seemingly similar sectors, an unrestricted, competitive labour market has been created by the demise of the closed shop, the workers' inability to create a substitute informal network, the unbridled influence of capital and government efforts to assist access to employment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2035

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