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State Intervention, Employment Regulation and Port Performance Diverging Patterns of Development in Europe

State Intervention, Employment Regulation and Port Performance Diverging Patterns of Development... 30 Management Research News Volume 14 Number 10 1991 Changing Employment Relations: Industry Studies (b) to evaluate the effectiveness of employment regu­ State Intervention, Employment lation within the industry along with trade union and Regulation and Port Performance: worker participation Diverging Patterns of Development (c) to assess the role of the state in economic planing in Europe for the industry; and Peter Turnbull and Syd Weston, Cardiff Business School (d) to present evidence from the UK of how the port in - dustry is developing since employment deregula­ Throughout the 1980s British port employers had in­ creased their pressure on Government to repeal the Na­ tion. tional Dock Labour Scheme (NDLS); a scheme The paper will draw on case studies and other ma­ introduced in 1947 to regulate the employment of dock- terial of UK ports and will be contrasted against highly workers. The port employers had continually argued that successful ports such as Rotterdam and Antwerp. More the main cause of the uncompetitive nature and poor per­ general data covering all European dock labour schemes formance of the British ports in comparison to its Euro­ will be presented. Particular reference will be given to pean neighbours was the Dock Labour Scheme. Spain, which was cited by the British employers as an Deregulation was seen as not only the answer to revita­ example of the "success" of deregulation but where pro­ lising the British port industry itself, but essential to en­ gress has been slow in the face of worker opposition, and able ports to compete in the Single European Market. The France, where the employers are pressing for deregula­ employers' demands were answered with the abolition of tion along the lines pursued in the UK. As the patterns of the NDLS in 1989. Since this time, competition between port development throughout Europe diverge, initial indi­ British ports has intensified, with substantial job losses cations are that the "commercial model" is unlikely to accompanying the introduction of radically different work­ transform the competitive position of UK ports vis-a-vis ing practices. the more successful European model. In comparison, although other European countries have had similar, if not more, restrictive labour schemes operating within their ports, they have maintained a more efficient and technologically more advanced port indus­ try to that of Britain. Unlike the British port industry, how­ ever, where the state has played a minimal role other than to provide the legal framework of the NDLS, the more suc­ cessful European ports are characterised by greater state intervention at all levels (both planning and operational). Thus, the efficiency and superior technological advance­ ment of the more successful European ports has been brought about through an integrated port transport plan involving investment, subsidy and employment regula­ tion: a coherent policy with an overall objective to maxi­ mise social benefit rather than to minimise operational costs. This contrasts sharply with the British experience where employment regulation within the industry was never linked to any overall plan and can therefore be char­ acterised as a purely commercial model: a commercial model which has now been reinforced through the aboli­ tion of the NDLS and the proposals for privatisation of trust and municipal ports. The aims of this paper are therefore: (a) to consider the failure of the NDLS in contrast to the European experiences http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Research News Emerald Publishing

State Intervention, Employment Regulation and Port Performance Diverging Patterns of Development in Europe

Management Research News , Volume 14 (10): 1 – Oct 1, 1991

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0140-9174
DOI
10.1108/eb028182
Publisher site
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Abstract

30 Management Research News Volume 14 Number 10 1991 Changing Employment Relations: Industry Studies (b) to evaluate the effectiveness of employment regu­ State Intervention, Employment lation within the industry along with trade union and Regulation and Port Performance: worker participation Diverging Patterns of Development (c) to assess the role of the state in economic planing in Europe for the industry; and Peter Turnbull and Syd Weston, Cardiff Business School (d) to present evidence from the UK of how the port in - dustry is developing since employment deregula­ Throughout the 1980s British port employers had in­ creased their pressure on Government to repeal the Na­ tion. tional Dock Labour Scheme (NDLS); a scheme The paper will draw on case studies and other ma­ introduced in 1947 to regulate the employment of dock- terial of UK ports and will be contrasted against highly workers. The port employers had continually argued that successful ports such as Rotterdam and Antwerp. More the main cause of the uncompetitive nature and poor per­ general data covering all European dock labour schemes formance of the British ports in comparison to its Euro­ will be presented. Particular reference will be given to pean neighbours was the Dock Labour Scheme. Spain, which was cited by the British employers as an Deregulation was seen as not only the answer to revita­ example of the "success" of deregulation but where pro­ lising the British port industry itself, but essential to en­ gress has been slow in the face of worker opposition, and able ports to compete in the Single European Market. The France, where the employers are pressing for deregula­ employers' demands were answered with the abolition of tion along the lines pursued in the UK. As the patterns of the NDLS in 1989. Since this time, competition between port development throughout Europe diverge, initial indi­ British ports has intensified, with substantial job losses cations are that the "commercial model" is unlikely to accompanying the introduction of radically different work­ transform the competitive position of UK ports vis-a-vis ing practices. the more successful European model. In comparison, although other European countries have had similar, if not more, restrictive labour schemes operating within their ports, they have maintained a more efficient and technologically more advanced port indus­ try to that of Britain. Unlike the British port industry, how­ ever, where the state has played a minimal role other than to provide the legal framework of the NDLS, the more suc­ cessful European ports are characterised by greater state intervention at all levels (both planning and operational). Thus, the efficiency and superior technological advance­ ment of the more successful European ports has been brought about through an integrated port transport plan involving investment, subsidy and employment regula­ tion: a coherent policy with an overall objective to maxi­ mise social benefit rather than to minimise operational costs. This contrasts sharply with the British experience where employment regulation within the industry was never linked to any overall plan and can therefore be char­ acterised as a purely commercial model: a commercial model which has now been reinforced through the aboli­ tion of the NDLS and the proposals for privatisation of trust and municipal ports. The aims of this paper are therefore: (a) to consider the failure of the NDLS in contrast to the European experiences

Journal

Management Research NewsEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 1991

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