_Shop Steward_ is a simulation of UK industrial relations in the 1970s. It
deals with trades union activity at a small company during an economic crisis.
As a shop steward the player has to make decisions on the amount of industrial
action his members will take each quarter. The aim is to maximise support,
number of workers and pay level while at the same time avoid management
conflicts that might lead to lockouts that threatens the future of the firm.
For each quarter the player has to enter the amount of action that is taken by
entering a number between 0 and 5. 0 means no action is taken, 1 leads to
informal pressure on management, 2 is work-to-rule (no overtime or flexible
working), 3 leads to a wildcat strike and 4 is an all-out strike.
Depending on what the player chooses to do the management will respond in
different ways. This include increased wages, a lock-out, or shutting the
company. This might then lead to job offers or redundancies (voluntary or
compulsory depending on the player’s choice). Sometimes the company want to
invest in new technology which leads to some staff being replaced with
machinery which boosts the company’s productivity but decreases the workforce.
The player simply has to try and stay in office as long as possible. There are
several ways to fail, including bankruptcy, low staff numbers and lack of
support within the union.