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Developments in Collective Bargaining in Construction in the 1980s and 1990s

  • Steven G. Allen

This paper summarizes important developments in collective bargaining in the construction industry in the 1980s and 1990s. Workers in the industry have experienced high unemployment and a 17 percent drop in real wages. Union density has declined from 33 percent in 1981 to 22 percent in 1992, despite a sizable drop in the union-nonunion differential in wages and a tremendous reduction in the number of strikes. The main reasons for the decline in union strength are the adoption of strategies by contractors and owners to control labor costs and changes in the interpretation of labor laws that have given contractors more flexibility in determining their collective bargaining status.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4674.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4674.

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Date of creation: Mar 1994
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Paula B. Voos, ed. Contemporary Collective Bargaining in the Private Sector Madison, WI: Industrial Relations Research Association, 1994, pp. 411-445
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4674
Note: LS
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  1. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson, 1993. "Union Membership and Coverage Files from the Current Population Surveys: Note," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 574-578, April.
  2. Peter D. Linneman & Michael L. Wachter & William H. Carter, 1990. "Evaluating the evidence on union employment and wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 34-53, October.
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