Abstract: Bringing Labor Back In: Worker Solidarity, Employer Opposition, and the Development of Old Age Pensions in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

Dennie Oude Nijhuis


This paper compares the role of labor unions and employer interest groups in the development of old age pensions in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in the first half of the postwar period. The purpose of this paper is to show how organizational differences between the British and Dutch labor union movements explain the more generous outcome of public pension provision in the Netherlands as compared to the United Kingdom. Its addition to the debate over welfare state development lies in its challenge to the view of labor unions as the natural proponents of welfare state development. The strategies of British and Dutch employer organizations toward old age pension development are explained here through these differences in the stance of the British and Dutch labor unions toward public pension development.