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Employer behavior in the face of union organizing drives

  • Richard B. Freeman
  • Morris M. Kleiner

Using data from a 1986 survey of employers and a 1982-83 survey of union organizers, the authors investigate the determinants and consequences of employer opposition to union organizing drives. They find that strong management opposition, as evidenced by, for example, the filing of formal charges of unfair labor practices against management, was most likely when the firm had relatively low wages, poor working conditions, and supervisory problems; when the likelihood of union victory was uncertain; and when the potential union compensation differential-and thus the potential effect on firm profits-was high. Opposition by supervisors was particularly effective in defeating union drives. The authors conclude that firms' responses to organizing drives were consistent with the motive of profit maximization, and that management opposition has been an important determinant of the decline of unionization. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 43 (1990)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 351-365

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:43:y:1990:i:4:p:351-365
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