Historians of industrial relations have by and large concentrated their efforts on the trade union movement and as a result published material on employers is still a little thin on the ground. 1 However, one of the most fruitful areas of research has been the relationship between employers’ labour policy and the development of industrial welfare. It is now acknowledged that industrial welfare, consisting of non-wage services to labour in the form of cash payments such as pensions, profit-sharing and paid holidays or amenities such as canteens, health schemes, housing, and educational and recreational facilities, spread during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The most recent and the most important work has been undertaken by Joseph Meiling. In a number of thoughtful and stimulating pieces, Meiling has combined detailed empirical research with a largely Marxist theoretical critique to relate the salient trends in industrial welfare to wider changes in British capitalism. In very broad terms, industrial welfare policy is linked to the production and market conditions in which firms operated, control over local labour markets, and employers’ relationship to trade union organisation and industrial conflict, particularly over the labour process. Behind all this, of course, is the employers’ need for an efficient and well-disciplined labour force. 2