Union renewal in Canada : strategies, tactics, and public perceptions.
Eaton, Jonathan.
158 leaves.
Microform, Thesis
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Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-06, Section: A, page: 2404.
dissertation note
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2005.
This thesis examines three dimensions of union renewal. The first paper analyzes the determinants of union organizing tactics, based on a survey of union organizers in Ontario and British Columbia. The second paper assesses the impact of two potential union renewal strategies---social movement unionism and association models---on worker preference for unionization, based on the results of a national public-opinion poll. The final paper examines union strategies based on a national survey of union leadership. An index of social movement unionism is identified, and determinants of social movement unionism are measured. Major findings include: (1) Canadian unions are not yet widely employing innovative organizing tactics. Organizer characteristics such as youth, training, and experience have a positive impact on the range of union tactics used in certification campaigns. However, there is little evidence that organizer gender has an impact on the selection of union tactics, or that unions are tailoring their campaigns to the demographic characteristics of targeted workplaces. (2) Public opinion data reveals that there is a pool of support for union campaigns related to social movement unionism, and this support is positively linked to workers' intentions to vote for unions in their workplaces. On the other hand, the equally substantial interest among workers in employee associations does not appear to represent an unrequited desire for collective representation that unions can tap into, at least in the short run. (3) A "social movement unionism index" emerges from an analysis of union self-reported priorities. Multivariate analysis indicates that larger, private sector unions that have been the most impacted by competitive pressures in their sectors are significantly more likely to pursue this form of unionism.Canadian unions are facing severe pressure as a result of environmental changes, including globalization, technological change, new work systems, increasing fragmentation in the workforce, and the ascendance of neo-liberal policies. The results of these converging trends have been a decline in membership and bargaining power for unions. There is considerable theoretical and research interest in the strategies that unions can pursue to withstand these environmental pressures, but little quantitative data describing renewal efforts by Canadian unions.
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