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Union Organizing and Membership Growth: Why Don’t They Organize?


  • Jack Fiorito


  • Paul Jarley



This study analyzes U.S. union organizing activity and membership growth from 1990 to 2004, a period in which an overall pattern of union decline continued and in which organizing achieved renewed prominence as both a union policy and public policy issue. Models for organizing activity and membership growth were proposed and tested. Union decentralization and employer opposition were found to be key predictors of organizing activity differences among unions. These same factors, along with organizing activity, helped explain union differences in membership growth, as did a “Sweeney era” effect. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Jack Fiorito & Paul Jarley, 2012. "Union Organizing and Membership Growth: Why Don’t They Organize?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 461-486, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jlabre:v:33:y:2012:i:4:p:461-486
    DOI: 10.1007/s12122-012-9144-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Henry S. Farber & Bruce Western, 2002. "Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Declining Union Organization," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(3), pages 385-401, September.
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