Union strategies and potential targets for new-member organizing in the United States /
Rachel Aleks.
xi, 121 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
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contents note
Introduction -- Estimating the effect of 'Change to win" on union organizing -- What professionals want: union and employer characteristics and tactics in certification elections of professional workers -- Generational differences in youth attitudes towards unions: a bright future ahead -- Conclusion.
dissertation note
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2014.
This dissertation focuses on attempts by labor unions in the United States to prioritize new-member organizing as a means of reversing the decline in union density. In three papers, I look at strategic organizing efforts and opportunities at three distinct levels of analysis: the federation level, the national and local-union levels, and the level of the individual potential member. In the first paper, I look at efforts by seven unions that split from the AFL-CIL in 2005 to form a new union federation, Change to Win. I estimate the effect of Change to Win policies on whether the union won the certification election and the number and percentage of workers successfully organized, using data from the National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board form September 2000 through September 2010 and a difference-in-difference estimator. The results indicate no statistically significant difference in organizing success, following the Change to Win's formation and implementation of new organizing strategies and practices, relative to the AFL-CIO. The second paper of my dissertation analyzes recent attempts to organize the growing number of professional workers into historically blue-collar unions using a combination of data from the National Labor Relations Board and data from a national survey that I designed and administered to national and local unions throughout the country. Using a series of interactions, I test whether the effect of key strategies and tactics differ across professional-worker status. My results show that the effect of some typical union and employer strategies and characteristics does differ for professionals versus nonprofessionals. Finally, the third paper examines youth attitudes towards unions, since young workers are underrepresented in union membership. I examine how youth attitudes towards unions have changed over time using a generational approach and data from the 1976-2010 nationally representative Monitoring the Future survey of twelfth graders. I find that beginning with the Baby Boomers, each generation (i.e., Gen X and Gen Y) has had more favorable attitudes towards unions, including work values, socio-political beliefs, background, and employment history and expectations, have changed over each generation.
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