How do labor and management view collective bargaining?

Abstract

Since the passage of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, collective bargaining has been the primary means by which U.S. workers can collectively negotiate terms and conditions of employment with their employer. Currently, more than 100,000 contracts are in effect, covering approximately 9 million workers and their employers in the private sector. (An additional 8 million workers are covered under labor agreements in the public sector.) Despite the importance of collective bargaining, the number of workers covered under bargaining contracts has steadily declined for nearly four decades. While very little national, public debate has occurred regarding the future of the institution of collective bargaining, a less easily observed debate is occurring in practice, as parties either explore cooperative innovations or resort to adversarial extremes. This report presents evidence that the “debate in practice” is far from resolved. It draws on a new national survey of labor and employer representatives to provide a snapshot of current collective bargaining in the United States. This report examines the pressures affecting labor and management involved in negotiations, the issues most frequently addressed in bargaining, the role of the contract deadline, pressure tactics used by unions and employers to influence the process and its outcomes, and the quality of the relationships, as well as the direction and pace of change in labor-management relations. The results are directly relevant to several critical public policy issues, including the role of striker replacements and the nature of bargaining in first-contract cases.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{CutcherGershenfeld1999HowDL, title={How do labor and management view collective bargaining?}, author={Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld and Thomas A. Kochan}, year={1999} }