Power and control on the waterfront: casual labour and decasualisation

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This chapter focuses on labour market organisation and work mentality. It also focuses on structural changes and power relations on the labour market and argues how this affected dock workers' norms and values. The chapter discusses the work culture and labour market organisation in the phase of casual labour. It describes the measures to decasualise dock labour from 1890 to the 1930s. The chapter analyses the developments in the Great Depression and in World War II and the post-World War II period. Local politicians and state officials encountered the problems of casual labour in the form of the overcrowded slum-like underclass precincts close to the waterfront such as the London East-end, the Hamburg Gangeviertel, the Majengo in Mombasa or in the Ngamiani at Tanga, to name only a few. In the main ports of New Zealand the Bureaux were controlled by a joint union-employer board with a neutral chairman.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDock workers: International Explorations in Comparative Labour History, 1790-1970 : Volume 2
EditorsSam Davies, Klaus Weinhauer
Number of pages24
Place of PublicationAldershot [u.a.]
PublisherAshgate Publishing Limited
Publication date29.09.2017
ISBN (print)9780754602644, 0754602648
ISBN (electronic)9781315257501
Publication statusPublished - 29.09.2017