Why Study Labor Relations?. While unionized proportion of labor force declining, understanding of labor relations not less important Unions facing most serious challenge to their power and influence since passage of Wagner Act 75 years ago 1955: ~35% workers unionized Today: 12%
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Journal of Labor Research (Fall 1999)
examines how employee representation, typically through independent labor unions, contributes towards achieving a BALANCE between efficiency, equity, and voice.
U.S. labor law protects union activity to promote efficiency, equity, and voice.
Contemporary UAW-General Motors Contract (circa 2000)
Contemporary UAW-Saturn Contract
First UAW-General Motors Contract (1937)Thickness of U.S. Union Contracts
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2009.
One example of an attempt to balance the rights of labor and capital, and balance efficiency, equity, and voice…but there are alternatives...
Representative of other developing countries: labor relations controlled by the state; growing tension as independent labor movements emerge and international competitive pressures intensify
Illustrates drawbacks of a voluntary system?
Generally representative of northern European countries, but is the system flexible enough for the 21st century?
Is decentralization and deregulation the answer to international competitive pressures?
A model for the 21st century? Or the domination of labor?