South Wales Siemens Steel Association

Scope and Content

Constitution 1924; Transcript of proceedings of Joint Industrial Council 1928; Transcript of proceedings of Joint Conciliation Board 1942-1960; Transcripts of proceedings of Joint Engineering Committee 1957-1961; Agreements with Trade Unions 1920-1956; Conference proceedings 1919-1926

Administrative / Biographical History

The first meeting of the South Wales Siemens Steel Association was held on 7 November 1906. Before this date, the steel industry employers had only held informal 'Steel Masters' meetings but the establishment of the Association provided a formal union for the employers. The Association was essentially a forum whereby the various steel producers in South Wales could make combined decisions regarding employment conditions, the industry and steel prices.

The South Wales Siemens Steel Association regularly met with representatives from the various employees' unions during meetings of the South Wales Siemens Steel Joint Conciliation Board. This Board allowed the employees and employers to discuss matters of pay, conditions and compensation within the Siemens steel industry. From 1917, the employees' union interests were represented by the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation. In 1924, the Joint Conciliation Board drew up and adopted a formal constitution setting out the Board's role as a medium for settling disputes between employers and employees. The Board included representatives from all areas of the industry including; the melting department, rolling mill department, engineering and maintenance and general and ancillary labour. By the end of World War II, the Board had established six geographic districts to ensure that it covered all aspects of the siemens steel industry in south Wales.

During 1966, the British Iron and Steel Federation had made clear that it wanted to reduce the number of associations within the steel industry. Both the Briton Ferry and Llanelly Steel Companies stated their intention to join the Heavy Steel Association and it became clear that the South Wales Siemens Steel Association had to be wound up as soon as possible. The Association finally went into liquidation in November 1966 once each firm had been accepted as members of the Heavy Steel Association.

Source: James Carr, History of the British Steel Industry (Oxford, 1962); Arthur Pugh, Men of Steel (London, 1951); Walter E. Minchinton, The British Tinplate Industry (Oxford, 1957)

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