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Multinational tactics in a traditional coal mining community, conflict in Spennymoor

Hammond, Shirley K. (1981) Multinational tactics in a traditional coal mining community, conflict in Spennymoor. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The sociological effects of three multinational corporations on Spennymoor, a former traditional coal mining community in County Durham, is examined. Effects of the multinationals on community life, on the work place environment, and on trade union structures receive particular attention. The study focuses on specific research findings in respect of the Spennymoor community made during 1976-1977 and draws a comparative analysis of the impact of the three multinationals. Two of the companies are English-based multinationals: The Thorn subsidiary Smart and Brown and Courtaulds, Ltd. , whereas, the third, Black and Decker, Ltd. , is an American-based multi national managed by and employing British personnel in Great Britain. The method of data collection used in the study included a combination of in-depth interviews, direct observation and social interaction in Spennymoor. Persons interviewed collectively form a diverse cross-section of male and female subjects. The study presents arguments indicating multinational corporations possess worldwide hegemony outside the rule of effective international law to regulate their actions in the world economy. SiAstantial consideration is given in this work to the Alternational Investment Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises formulated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in an attempt to provide a fair social framework and equitable operating procedures with which multinationals are to abide. This study investigates whether or not the multinationals in Spennymoor have complied with the OECD Guidelines. Four major social conflicts are revealed: the traditional community society in conflict with international corporatism; the conflict of workers versus multinational managers and district governmental bureaucrats; the conflict between female workers and a male dominated society within which sexist discrimination has been reinforced by multinational management practises rather than alleviated; and lastly, but of most pervasive importance, the conflict between multinational industrial strategy and fair collective bargaining by trade unions. The study concludes that a great preponderance of power lies with the multinationals to determine the destiny of the Spennymoor workers and of Spennymoor itself. A need exists for effective international regulation of multinationals and a strong worldwide organisation of workers, such as combine committees, united in their alms to bargain collectively from a position of united power in order for the workers to control their jobs and the destiny of their local communities.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1981
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Jul 2013 14:43

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