They should have sorted it out in 1975: The Newmarket Stable Lads' Strike
Miller, J. (2012) They should have sorted it out in 1975: The Newmarket Stable Lads' Strike. To be published in Historical Studies in Industrial Relations. ISSN 1362-1572 [Submitted]
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Stable staff, commonly referred to as ‘lads’ irrespective of gender, started to organise in trade unions from the early 20th century, being represented by the Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGWU) from the 1920s until the 1980s. They proved capable of taking industrial action, despite working in the small firms setting of racing stables. This article will first investigate the development of trade union membership, pay bargaining and strike activity in racing stables, culminating in the 1975 stable lads’ strike in Newmarket. It will then present the aftermath of the strike, the creation of national collective bargaining machinery, the National Joint Council for Stable Staff (NJCSS) and the destabilisation of the TGWU through the creation of an employer dominated association, the Stable Lads’ Association (SLA).
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