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Small is beautiful? The development of women's activism in a small union

[Susan Sayce, Bournemouth Business School], Anne-marie Greene and [Peter Ackers, Loughborough Business School]
Industrial Relations Journal, 37, 4, 400-414 


This article draws together two aspects of union renewal strategy: merger and increasing women's involvement and activism. The article utilises a case study of the National Union of the Lock and Metal Workers (NULMW), a small union that appears to have successfully promoted women's involvement contrary to the usual expectations about manufacturing union contexts. We argue that the reasons why women have done so well within the NULMW relates to the small size and community-based nature of the union, including its alignment with the historical development of the lock workforce. In light of this, we reflect on the potential effects of a recent amalgamation of the NULMW with the TGWU.