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From Playstations to Workstations: Youth Preferences for Unionisation in Canada

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  • Rafael Gomez
  • Morley Gunderson
  • Noah Meltz

Abstract

Differences in preferences for unions between youths and adults in Canada are analysed based on a survey of approximately 1500 persons. The results indicate that the preferences of youth for unionisation are strongly influenced by social factors such as familial union status and the attitudes of close peers. Preferences for unionisation are also shaped by the perceived costs and benefits of unionisation to deal with a wide range of workplace issues such as merit pay, voice, fair treatment, opportunities for advancement, layoffs, seniority, and a lack of progressive HRM and legislative protection at the workplace. The different preferences of youths and adults are generally consistent with the divergent effects that unions would have on youths and adults with respect to these issues. Youths have a stronger preference than do adults for unions in general. Most of that stronger preference reflects the stronger desire of youths to have unions deal with workplace issues, than it reflects the exposure of youths to these issues. The fact that preferences of youths for unionisation are strongly shaped by social capital factors such as union membership in the family and the attitudes of family and friends towards unions, highlights the cumulative and inter-generational effects that are involved in the unionisation process. Possible substitutes for unionisation such as progressive HRM practices and legislative protection exert a powerful negative effect on preferences for unionisation, especially for youths. The implications of these and other findings for the future of unionisation are also discussed.

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/DP0512.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0512.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0512

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "Nominal Wage Rigidity and the Rate of Inflation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0489, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 1998. "Discrimination and detailed decomposition in a logit model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 115-120, October.
  3. W. Craig Riddell, 1993. "Unionization in Canada and the United States: A Tale of Two Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 109-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Farber, Henry S, 1983. "The Determination of the Union Status of Workers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1417-37, September.
  5. Stephen Nickell & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Technological Innovation and Performance in the United Kingdom," CEP Discussion Papers dp0488, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Editors : & David Marsden & Hugh Stephenson, 2001. "Labour Law and Social Insurance in the New Economy: A Debate on the Supiot Report," CEP Discussion Papers dp0500, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "The Beveridge curve, unemployment and wages in the OECD from the 1960s to the 1990s - preliminary version," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20113, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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Cited by:
  1. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez & Morley Gunderson & Noah Meltz, 2002. "Youth-adult differences in the demand for unionization: are American, British and Canadian workers all that different?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4956, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Cross-generation correlations of union status for young people in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20057, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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