British Iron, Steel and Kindred Trades Association

Scope and Content

British Steel Smelters Monthly Reports 1889-1897; Iron & Steel Trades Confederation Minutes and Reports 1966-1971; Correspondence 1916-1972; Union Circulars 1972;

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Iron, Steel and Kindred Trades Association (BISKTA) was a subsidiary organisation of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC). The ISTC had been established in 1917 in response to government requirements for a single, authoritative body to consult with the multiplicity of unions which existed in the iron and steel industries. Many of these unions decided to affiliate with the ISTC but still retained their independent identities. Under the ISTC scheme, affiliated unions were allowed to continue to represent their existing membership but were not allowed to accept new members or reinstate old ones. Instead, these new workers and those who had allowed their union memberships to lapse, were required to join BISKTA. Under this scheme, it was hoped that BISKTA would eventually be able to take over the official functions of all the subsidiary unions and become the sole union of ISTC affiliate members.

BISKTA represented a wide variety of trades and often could not negotiate a single solution which was suitable for everyone. This led to the formation of several trade-specific branches of the union to negotiate individual trade disputes. Theses included the Tinplate and Sheet Trades Joint Industrial Council (representing the Tinplate and Welsh Sheet trades); the South Wales Siemens Joint Conciliation Board (representing the Welsh Steel bar trade) and the the Sheet Trade Board (for the heavy galvanised sheet steel makers). The special trades of Sheffield were entitled to use direct negotiation at the various steelworks.

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