A Re-Examination of the Relationship between Union Membership and Job Satisfaction
Two seemingly contradictory findings reported in the recent industrial relations literature are that union members are less satisfied with their jobs than are nonmembers and yet are less inclined to leave their jobs. Because those results are based on several national probability samples, the authors argue that they may result from a sampling methodology that confounds union membership with working conditions. In this study, in contrast, which uses data from 1980 and 1986 on union members and nonmembers in three bargaining units in which union membership was not required, it is possible to control for working conditions when examining the effect of union membership on job satisfaction. The results across all three samples indicate no effect of union membership on either job satisfaction or the intent to quit.
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