In the proliferating diagnoses of Britain’s post-war economic performance, its system of industrial relations has come under increasing criticism. Practically every day the news media supply us with examples of the most bizarre of employee-management contretemps, so that the general public must be forgiven if it concludes that these incidents are typical of Britain’s system of industrial relations. Above all, attention has been focused on the frequency of industrial disputes, and unfavourable comparisons have been made with the strike record of other countries.