Nationalisation and Industrial Conflict: Example of British by S. K. Saxena (auth.)

By S. K. Saxena (auth.)

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Extra resources for Nationalisation and Industrial Conflict: Example of British Coal-Mining

Example text

Moreover, the state of perfect competition had never existed. As trade and industry expanded, the numerous worker-employer conflicts, the increased maldistribution of wealth restricting effective demand in the market, the emergence of big combinations and existence of unemployment on a large-scale impelled the state to interfere in economic matters. Besides, the advent of war necessitated a central direction of the economy and the governments found themselves either actively directing the industries or taking over the ownership of those works which were essential for war purposes.

Though activities in this direction had been started before the Vesting Day and the Board's members had been meeting frequently as an organising committee, the new organisation was far from complete. About 1500 collieries and ancillary undertakings employing a total number of about 800,000 persons were to be looked after. The Government's view was that any delay in the take-over of the industry would only result in prolonging the period of uncertainty. Accordingly the Minister of Fuel and Power informed the House of Commons that the Vesting Date would be 1st January 1947.

Housing shortage continued to be an obstructing factor and the raising of the school-leaving age also reduced the number of juvenile recruits available for the industry. The number of miners who were released from the SOME ASPECTS OF NATIONALISED COAL INDUSTRY 51 Forces and who returned to take up employment in the mines also declined. During 1949 the Board's efforts were directed at increasing the manpower at coalface by upgrading other workers employed underground. Increased mechanization and more efficient methods of transport systems were adopted which released more men who were to be employed at coal-cutting jobs at the faces.

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