Works Council Scheme at ICI

In 1927 ICI first introduced its Works Council Scheme and became one of the pioneers of this form of joint consultancy. In 1929 it held its first General Works Council Meeting and gave the workers at Billingham a real say in the running of the factory and direct contact with company management in London.

6 thoughts on “Works Council Scheme at ICI

  1. In my experience it was the Union Shop Stewards and Conveners who had the biggest say the couple of people on the works council would say they had a meeting and and off they went sometimes to other works around the country, I never asked what they did being too busy keeping the much needed maintenance on track. A plant manager whose plant was on the wobble was a bit like having a Kilkenny Cat snarling at you, down time cost money and ICI were up there with the rest when it came to profit or loss.
    Kelloggs built the new Ammonia plant which was a Steam Reform method as against the old method of producing it. They used the American methods of building the bare minimum plant with the idea it would last three years, the first year would pay for the plant and products needed for the production of Ammonia, the second year pure profit, the third year profit and the cost of dismantling the plant ready to build new. ICI did not think like that so as soon as the plant was handed over it was shut down extra pipework valves and vessels added to make it easy to shut down parts of the plant. Each time the plant shut down more was done and in my time that meant some very heavy Engineering was done, My Son worked on those plants for twenty years which blew the Kellogg idea out of the water. This has all been told on other threads of this forum.
    I did attend one Works Committee event and found it rather banal so opted out there after.


    • My late brother-in-law Jos Sheraton Jnr, worked at ICI and subsequently at Kellogg International as an instrument engineer. I guess that the two companies had mutual interests and projects.


    • I am familiar with Kellogg from my years in N. America and would hazard a guess that they had an EPC contract to build what we used to call the US Plant on the south side, where I worked as an apprentice during the war. The plant was commissioned to produce aviation gasoline. When I was there as a lad I recall a story that, during construction, a crate of exchanger tubing in the 4″ dia. range was strafed by the Luftwaffe, thus delaying construction, as the material had to come via convoy from the U.S. Can someone verify this?


    • Yes, Kellogg built the Steam Reform units (2) on the #2 Methanol Plant that I was part of the Start-up team in Instrumentation & Controls.


    • Kellogg built some of the chemical plants at Wilton in the late 60s. My uncle Pat Kennedy was one of the managers at Kellogg during that time. He was a larger than life Scotsman and also played clarinet and sax in local jazz clubs especially the M&D club in Stockton, and had a one-man show playing working men’s clubs in the area.


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