Neither colonial nor historic: workers' organization at Rosyth dockyard, 1945-95

Alex Law*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As Britain's youngest and Scotland's only naval dockyard, Rosyth's development differed from the historic English yards in significant ways. An adequate understanding of this turnaround rests in having a sense of continuities and discontinuities of the deep-seated bureaucratization of workers' organization at Rosyth. The policy process is viewed as rational, neutral and open to specific, defensive campaigns at moments of perceived danger to the interests of dockyard workers. Microstate life gave colonial structures on the island, particularly the dockyard, an all-pervasive presence over the economy, politics and even residential areas and language. As a way of showing the specificity of dockyard organizational capacities, a contrast will be drawn next between the home-based historic dockyards and the overseas colonial ones. Social scale, politics, employment relations and ideology are important for organizational capacities: whether dockyard workers are in the realm of Lilliput or at the metropolitan heart of Empire matters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistory of work and labour relations in the royal dockyards
EditorsKenneth Lunn, Ann Day
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781317949084, 9781315862569
ISBN (Print)9780720123494
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 1999

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Employment and Work Relations in Context


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