Geddes report

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The Geddes Report was presented in March 1966 on the situation of the British shipbuilding industry.


After the number of employees in the British shipbuilding industry had fallen from around 275,000 in the late 1950s to 220,000 in the mid-1960s and seven more British shipyards had to file for bankruptcy in four years , the Labor government set up a commission of inquiry in February 1965 under the leadership of Reay Geddes, who was supposed to investigate the situation in the British shipbuilding industry and come up with solutions to overcome the crisis.

The report presented in March 1966 essentially highlighted two sets of issues:

  • The small-scale British shipyard structure with its low capital base and lack of networking, which should be improved by a program of company mergers and increased cooperation between the shipyards.
  • The working methods of the trade unions involved, in particular their focus on individual occupations instead of branches of production, which should be achieved by restructuring and reducing internal union disputes, fewer strikes, simpler collective bargaining structures and the resulting greater flexibility in work in the British shipyards.

The proposals in the Geddes Report were initially implemented through extensive corporate mergers of British shipyards until the 1970s. The organization of the trade unions involved was essentially retained and the number of strikes was not reduced. The development subsequently led to the nationalization of all relevant shipyards in the British Shipbuilders Corporation from 1977 to 1983.


  • Stråth, Bo: The Politics of De-Industrialization . The Contraction of the West European Shipbuilding Industry. Croom Helm Ltd., Beckenham 1987, ISBN 0-7099-5401-8 .