LERA Best Papers V: The When, Where, and Why of Unions
Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM (CST)
- Chair: Tingting Zhang, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
Union Responses to Vaccine Mandates in Canada
AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic thrust the issue of vaccine mandates into the spotlight. Nowhere have such mandates proven more controversial than in workplaces, where issues of health and safety have been pit against workers' privacy concerns. Workplace vaccine mandates have proven divisive given unions' central role in managing workplace disputes and representing the interests of workers, both individually and collectively. Mandates (or their lack) require unions to grapple in new ways with the privacy rights of individual members on the one hand, and the concern to ensure that workers can report to work with confidence that they will not be exposed (or expose others) to potentially fatal illness, on the other hand. Unions, however, have not been uniform in their response to workplace vaccine mandates. Some have embraced or even championed mandates, while others have strongly opposed them. This paper seeks greater clarity on the labor movement's response to workplace vaccination mandates. Specifically, we identify and analyze individual unions' responses to these mandates with the overriding aim that this research will inform future decision-making regarding occupational health and labor strategy.
Where Unions Fell: A Historical Geography of Union Formation in the U.S.
AbstractAn important component of labor relations is what is not seen; that is, the unionization that never occurs because of foregone participation. This paper presents data and descriptive analysis on the locations where union formation
declined in the US. Through careful cleaning of city and state information associated with National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) representation elections, we are able to better understand the geospatial element of the dramatic decline in elections since the 1960s. Since past studies have shown that such elections were a critical part of the overall drop in unionization, at least prior to 1985, these data provide rich insights into the causes and consequences of overall deunionization in the US. Early results suggest that elections have virtually disappeared from rural areas and are now heavily concentrated in urban centers, possibly contributing to sluggish rural development and regional brain drain.
Wage and Employment Effects of Right-to-Work Laws in the 2010s
AbstractI use administrative data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages to estimate the effects of recent anti-union right-to-work (RTW) laws on labor markets (defined by state-by-industry cells) in affected states. Exploiting the plausibly exogenous timing of such laws in a difference-in-differences design, I find that RTW decreased earnings, with most reductions occurring in industries with high union coverage. For employment and establishment counts, I find no statistically significant effects. I show that wage reductions are closely correlated with RTW-induced declines the union threat and I rule out alternative explanations for findings such as economic changes in comparison group states and businesses using RTW as a proxy for other pro-management policies.
University of Minnesota
W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
University of Wisconsin-Madison
- J0 - General