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What Voice Do British Workers Want?

Listed author(s):
  • Alex Bryson
  • Richard Freeman

The problems/need for representation and participation reported by workers vary across workplaces and by types of jobs. Workers with greater workplace needs are more desirous of unions but their preferences are fine-grained. Workers want unions to negotiate wages and work conditions and for protection but do not see unions as helping them progress in their careers. Many workers see no major workplace problems that would impel them to form or join unions. Unionism raises reported problems while firm-based non-union channels of voice reduce reported problems, but unions that work effectively with management and those that have sufficient strength to be taken seriously by management reduce the number of problems at union workplaces.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0731.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0731
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  1. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-141, May.
  2. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Why have workers stopped joining unions?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20022, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Alex Bryson & Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "Worker Needs and Voice in the US and the UK," NBER Working Papers 12310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union Decline in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 631-645, December.
  5. Andy Charlwood, 2004. "The New Generation of Trade Union Leaders and Prospects for Union Revitalization," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 379-397, 06.
  6. Michael Poole & Roger Mansfield & Julian Gould-Williams & Priya Mendes, 2005. "British Managers' Attitudes and Behaviour in Industrial Relations: A Twenty-Year Study," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 117-134, 03.
  7. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Segmentation, switching costs and the demand for unionization in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4947, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Richard B. Freeman, 2005. "From the Webbs to the Web: The Contribution of the Internet to Reviving Union Fortunes," NBER Working Papers 11298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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