SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Conway, Hugh E. (1968) Industrial relations in Sierra Leone with special reference to the development and functioning of bargaining machinery since 1945. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (21MB) | Preview


After the Second World War there was established in Sierra Leone, West Africa, a pattern of industrial wage bargaining involving Joint Industrial Councils and Wages Boards. The early introduction of such machinery was unique in Africa at the time. In studying these institutions primary concern was to uncover the reasons behind their introduction and to analyze their subsequent effect on industrial relations practices in the country. The relevance of the bargaining bodies to the occurrence and pattern of industrial conflict was of special interest. Since no previous research had been undertaken into the country's industrial relations system, or its system of wage determination, the study seemed particularly worthwhile. Before the central themes are approached the history of labour administration and labour activity in Sierra Leone from the late 19th century is summarized in Part I. Railway strikes after the First World War were important in the formulation of early Government labour policy. In Part II the process of transferring bargaining machinery from Britain and the reasons for the move are reviewed. The various effects of the bargaining arrangements, especially on labour strike activity are summarized in Part IV. From the Administration's point of view industrial bargaining worked well to 1955. The General Strike in 1955, however, brought considerable changes in the functioning and design of the JICs and Wages Boards. Some conclusions reached in this study are firstly, that the provision of union organizational stability and leadership security will serve to limit industrial conflict during the early stages of labour-management relations; and secondly, the initial acceptance or rejection by former British West African administrators, of the British philosophy of 'voluntarism' in labour-management affairs, largely explains certain observed differences in trade union structure and bargaining arrangements among English speaking West African states.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:15

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item