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NCJ Number: 66569 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE UNIONISM (FROM BRITISH POLICE, 1979, BY SIMON HOLDAWAY - SEE NCJ-66561)
Author(s): R REINER
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE REVIEWS POLICE UNIONISM IN BRITAIN, DESCRIBES AND EXPLAINS POLICE TRADE UNION CONSCIOUSNESS, AND DISCUSSES THE RECENT GROWTH OF UNION MILITANCY AMONG POLICE.
Abstract: POLICE UNIONISM CAN ONLY BE UNDERSTOOD IN RELATION TO THE PLACE OF POLICE IN THE CLASS STRUCTURE. ALTHOUGH UNIONISM IS A REACTION TO CLASS POSITION, THE POLICE POSITION IN SOCIETY IS CONTRADICTORY, SINCE POLICE ARE WORKING CLASS PEOPLE WHOSE DUTIES INVOLVE CONTROLLING MEMBERS OF THEIR OWN CLASS. THE POLICE FEDERATION WAS ESTABLISHED IN BRITAIN IN 1919 TO HANDLE POLICE GRIEVANCES WITHOUT ADOPTING THE STRUCTURE OR STRATEGIES OF A PROPER TRADE UNION. IN THE POST-WORLD WAR II ERA, THE ROLE OF THE FEDERATION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, WIDER QUESTIONS OF POLICE POLICY, AND POLITICAL LOBBYING. A RECENT ASSESSMENT OF THE FEDERATION BY POLICE OF VARIOUS RANKS INDICATES THAT THE UPPER RANKS ARE MOST SATISFIED WITH THE FEDERATION'S WORK ON BEHALF OF POLICE INTERESTS. A MAJORITY OF POLICE BELIEVE THAT STRONG UNIONISM MIGHT HINDER DISCIPLINE AND INHIBIT THEIR CRUCIAL PUBLIC DUTIES. THE SOCIAL BACKGROUND OF THE POLICE CLOSELY RESEMBLES THAT OF THE GENERAL POPULATION, WITH MOST HAVING FATHERS WHO WERE SKILLED OR SEMI-SKILLED WORKERS. ALTHOUGH THE POLICE COME FROM HEAVILY UNIONIZED SECTIONS OF SOCIETY, THEIR ASPIRATIONS FOR UPWARD MOBILITY SUGGEST INDIVIDUALISTIC CHARACTERS WHICH WOULD INHIBIT SUPPORT FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION. MOST POLICE ARE COMMITTED TO THEIR JOBS FOR OTHER THAN FINANCIAL REASONS, AND 51 PERCENT ARE WELL SATISFIED WITH THEIR WORK. POLICE ALSO FORM AN OCCUPATIONAL COMMUNITY IN WHICH THE OCCUPATION GOVERNS PRIVATE LIFE. ALTHOUGH THE INCREASING DEMANDS FACING POLICE AND A DECLINE IN THEIR BARGAINING POWER LED TO INCREASED MILITANCY FOR UNIONISM AFTER 1974, A RECENT RETURN TO MORE CONSERVATIVE POLITICS IN BRITAIN WILL PROBABLY FORESTALL REAL POLICE UNIONIZATION. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; England; Police attitudes; Police unions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66569

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