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Learning From Clerical Unions: Two Cases Of Organizing Success, Richard W. Hurd Oct 2013

Learning From Clerical Unions: Two Cases Of Organizing Success, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

This paper summarizes two successful clerical organizing campaigns. The first case describes the District 65 campaign to gain representation rights and contract protection for the clerical employees of Columbia University. The discussion reviews the tactics employed to win a representation election, to maintain rank and file involvement during an extended legal battle, and to conduct a successful strike for a first contract. The second case describes a campaign by Teamsters Local 364 to achieve recognition and bargaining rights for public school secretaries in South Bend, Ind. Already members of an employee association, the secretaries sought to affiliate with the Teamsters ...


Organizing Activity Among University Clerical Workers, Richard W. Hurd, Adrienne M. Mcelwain Oct 2013

Organizing Activity Among University Clerical Workers, Richard W. Hurd, Adrienne M. Mcelwain

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] As union membership has declined and blue-collar employment has contracted, union organizers have shifted their attention to white-collar workers in the largely nonunion service sector. Interviews with union organizers indicate that a disproportionate share of this organizing activity has been aimed at college and university clerical employees. In order to gain a better understanding of this activity, two avenues of inquiry were pursued. Interviews were conducted with 48 union officials who have been involved in university clerical organizing. In addition, a questionnaire concerning the unionization of clerical workers was mailed in 1986 to personnel directors of all colleges and ...


Organizing Clerical Workers, Richard W. Hurd May 2011

Organizing Clerical Workers, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] There are two organizing models that are effective among clerical workers. One model is the media-oriented, high-tech type of organizing. AFSCME does this very well; some other unions have also used it effectively. It starts with polling and opinion research on the work force that might be organized. This is followed up by targeted direct mail, telephone banks, radio and TV ads, campaign-specific newspapers and so on. This type of campaign is most appropriate for large public-sector units, especially when the clericals work in multiple locations. It is an important and successful means of organizing, but it has limited ...


Organizing Clerical Workers: Determinants Of Success, Richard Hurd, Adrienne Mcelwain Sep 2010

Organizing Clerical Workers: Determinants Of Success, Richard Hurd, Adrienne Mcelwain

Richard W Hurd

This paper investigates factors influencing the outcome of union organizing efforts among clerical workers in the private sector. Drawing on interviews with union officials involved in clerical organizing campaigns, the authors analyze NLRB data on elections held in 1979. They find that the percentage of clerical workers voting yes in representation elections was related positively to the strength of the union presence in the state and employment growth in the industry, and negatively to the level of strike activity in the state and management resistance to unionization. The delay between the filing of an election petition and the holding of ...


[Review Of The Book We Can’T Eat Prestige: The Women Who Organized Harvard], Richard W. Hurd Sep 2010

[Review Of The Book We Can’T Eat Prestige: The Women Who Organized Harvard], Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] In 1988 the fifteen-year campaign to organize office and laboratory workers at Harvard University ended with an NLRB election win. We Can't Eat Prestige is the most comprehensive examination to date of this compelling story, offering new detail and sufficiently bold assertions to re-ignite a smoldering debate about what this victory means for the future of unions. The author is a highly regarded journalist with thirty years of experience reporting on labor issues. Predictably, the book is extraordinarily well written, weaving a fascinating story of the union's evolution.


Organizing And Representing Clerical Workers: The Harvard Model, Richard W. Hurd Sep 2010

Organizing And Representing Clerical Workers: The Harvard Model, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The private sector clerical work force is largely nonunion, simultaneously offering the labor movement a major source of potential membership growth and an extremely difficult challenge. Based on December 1990 data, there are eighteen million workers employed in office clerical, administrative support, and related occupations. Eighty percent of these employees are women, accounting for 30 percent of all women in the labor force. Among private sector office workers, 57 percent work in the low-union-density industry groups of services (only 5.7 percent union) and finance, insurance, and real estate (only 2.5 percent union). With barely over ten million ...