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Full-Text Articles in Labor Relations

How Does Restructuring Contribute To Union Revitalization?, Martin Behrens, Richard W. Hurd, Kerstin Hamann Nov 2015

How Does Restructuring Contribute To Union Revitalization?, Martin Behrens, Richard W. Hurd, Kerstin Hamann

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] As we look cross-nationally at labour movement revitalization, we see a complex process of change that varies depending on the socio-political/economic context. Although we observe a diverse set of union strategies and outcomes, we find that structural adjustment is a common element of revitalization efforts. The mere presence of restructuring does not, of course, assure positive results. In this chapter we define various forms of restructuring, outline factors that shape and promote restructuring, and discuss the likelihood that restructuring leads to union revitalization by using examples from our cross-country comparison.


Contesting The Dinosaur Image: The Labor Movement's Search For A Future, Richard W. Hurd Nov 2015

Contesting The Dinosaur Image: The Labor Movement's Search For A Future, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] As labor contests the dinosaur image it will find no easy answers. Hard work, careful assessment of options, and a willingness to take risks are all required. Without widespread experimentation and a significant reallocation of resources to organizing, extinction awaits.


New Deal Labor Policy And The Containment Of Radical Union Activity, Richard Hurd Oct 2013

New Deal Labor Policy And The Containment Of Radical Union Activity, Richard Hurd

Richard W Hurd

New Deal labor policies were designed with the stability of the capitalist economy in mind. Their pro-union provisions responded to labor militance and served to head off the formation of a radical working-class movement. The National Labor Relations Act established procedures which encouraged unions to pursue peaceful collective bargaining rather than a more activist course. Although the enforcement of pro-union policies was weak, the fact that they were adopted gave the impression that the state was sensitive to worker interests. When the crisis ended with the onset of World War II, the state reverted to an approach which more directly ...


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 ...


You Can Fight City Hall—The Dover, N.H., Iaff Defeat Of Privatized Fire Protection, Richard W. Hurd Oct 2013

You Can Fight City Hall—The Dover, N.H., Iaff Defeat Of Privatized Fire Protection, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] In recent years public sector unions have faced an increasingly difficult bargaining environment. The combination of a sluggish economy, cutbacks in federal aid, and citizen resistance to tax increases have forced state and local governments to reduce expenditures. In many cases antiunion public officials have used their budgetary woes as an excuse to attack the unions that represent government employees. Although these attacks occasionally amount to blatant union-busting, they more frequently involve subtle efforts to erode contract protections, fringe benefits, or bargaining units. One of the most prevalent methods for weakening public sector unions is the practice of contracting ...


A Retrospective On The Patco Strategy, Richard W. Hurd Oct 2013

A Retrospective On The Patco Strategy, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The destruction of PATCO has been written off by most labor leaders as the inevitable result of an ill-conceived challenge to an anti-union U.S. President. Although there is widespread sympathy for the rank and file members who lost their jobs in an attempt to exercise collective bargaining rights in the best tradition of the U.S. labor movement, there is at the same time much disdain for the actions of the national officers of PATCO, most notably President Bob Poli. Although the criticisms of the officers are at least partially valid, it is important to recognize that the ...


Progressive Union Organizing: The Seiu Justice For Janitors Campaign, Richard Hurd, William Rouse Oct 2013

Progressive Union Organizing: The Seiu Justice For Janitors Campaign, Richard Hurd, William Rouse

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The Justice for Janitors campaign was conceived during a bitter labor dispute with Pittsburgh's Mellon Bank which started late in 1985. Mellon Bank, having just renewed an Service Employees International Union collective-bargaining agreement, replaced their former cleaning contractor with a nonunion company. The new contractor refused to honor the Mellon-SEIU labor accord and was willing to hire only half of Mellon's 80 janitors on a part-time basis with a substantial pay cut and no benefits. Mellon disclaimed any responsibility, stating that the dispute was strictly between the new cleaning contractor and the janitors. In response the SEIU ...


Strategies For Union Growth In Food Manufacturing And Agriculture, Richard W. Hurd Oct 2013

Strategies For Union Growth In Food Manufacturing And Agriculture, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

The labor force and employment conditions in agriculture differ considerably from those in food manufacturing. Furthermore, unionization in agriculture is at an embryonic stage, while in food manufacturing it is well established. Because of these dissimilarities prospects for union growth are not the same and the two industries are treated separately below.


Structural Change And Union Transformation, Richard W. Hurd, Martin Behrens Oct 2013

Structural Change And Union Transformation, Richard W. Hurd, Martin Behrens

Richard W Hurd

Analysis of the role of structural change in labor movement revitalization is presented as part of a multicountry comparative project. There are two interrelated causal chains that explain successful union restructuring. First, there must be sufficient environmental pressure to overcome institutional inertia. Second, unions J need a clearly articulated vision that provides a basis for strategic decision making. Three viable motivations for restructuring are identified: aggressive, defensive, and strategic. Aggressive restructuring strengthens union leadership; defensive restructuring attempts to stabilize the union to assure survival. If the restructuring is merely aggressive or merely defensive, however, it will not contribute to a ...


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 ...


Public Sector Unions: Will They Thrive Or Struggle To Survive?, Richard W. Hurd, Sharon Pinnock Sep 2013

Public Sector Unions: Will They Thrive Or Struggle To Survive?, Richard W. Hurd, Sharon Pinnock

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] There is emerging consensus among public sector union leaders at the national level1 that the threats they face today are eerily similar to those ignored by private sector unions 20 years ago. Privatization, reinventing government, a changing public sector work force, anti-government forces on Capitol Hill and in statehouses, union myopia, and member apathy all are taken with the utmost seriousness. The situation calls for a sophisticated strategic response. Because they are operating from a position of relative strength, public sector unions must be at the forefront of any effort to re-establish union influence in our society. With this ...


Beyond Labor's Brawl: Strategic Conundrums Await, Richard W. Hurd Sep 2013

Beyond Labor's Brawl: Strategic Conundrums Await, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The stark reality of the continuing decline of U.S. unions has precipitated an intense feud among labor's leaders, with thoughtful progressives lined up on opposite sides of the schism. It seems increasingly likely that the movement as we know it will disintegrate. What remains uncertain is whether this period of crisis and confusion can provide space for the type of radical innovation that is necessary to propel issues of voice, justice, and equality to the forefront of the nation's consciousness. Readers of Social Policy know well the contentious issues — top-down restructuring versus bottom-up mobilization for change ...


Government Oversight, Union Democracy, And Labor Racketeering: Lessons From The Teamsters Experience, Michael H. Belzer, Richard W. Hurd Sep 2013

Government Oversight, Union Democracy, And Labor Racketeering: Lessons From The Teamsters Experience, Michael H. Belzer, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] In this paper we examine the federal courts' effort to clean up the Teamsters using legislation originally enacted to fight organized crime. Specifically, we look at the role of electoral democracy in this initiative and trace the experience through the 1991, 1996, and 1998 elections for Teamsters president. Once the story is told, we analyze the experience in the context of union democracy and also consider the relationship between democracy and labor movement transformation.


Reviving The American Labor Movement: Institutions And Mobilization, Richard W. Hurd, Ruth Milkman, Lowell Turner Sep 2013

Reviving The American Labor Movement: Institutions And Mobilization, Richard W. Hurd, Ruth Milkman, Lowell Turner

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The reawakening of the American labor movement under new leadership with new strategic orientations is a remarkable chapter in late 20thcentury American economic and political history. Given up for dead by so many at home and abroad, under relentless attack from American employers and with government supports disappearing, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFLCIO) and a core of key member unions have re-emerged since the mid-1990s as prominent workplace, community and political actors. With both strategic reorientation and new local mobilization, these unions have fought to reverse decline and re-energize the movement. While the ...


U.S. Labor 2006: Strategic Developments Across The Divide, Richard Hurd Sep 2013

U.S. Labor 2006: Strategic Developments Across The Divide, Richard Hurd

Richard W Hurd

The AFL-CIO and Change to Win have learned to co-exist without debilitating acrimony. The AFL-CIO has established Industry Coordinating Committees to facilitate cooperative bargaining and organizing ventures. On the political front, the AFL-CIO took the lead in labor’s 2006 electoral operations and conducted an extensive, efficient, and unified campaign. Change to Win unions worked together to build strategies for a growth agenda. The success of UNITE-HERE’s Hotel Workers Rising Campaign indicates the potential of this approach. Difficult challenges remain, but the strategic developments show signs of life and offer hope that labor may find a path to the ...


Professional Employees And Union Democracy: From Control To Chaos, Richard W. Hurd Sep 2013

Professional Employees And Union Democracy: From Control To Chaos, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] Much of the research on union democracy and almost all of the press coverage focuses on abuses of power at the top of the organization. I look at a case at the opposite end of the democracy spectrum. After an insurgent challenge to an established executive director toppled him from power, the chaos of democracy was unleashed in this small union of professional workers. The turmoil experienced by this organization for most of the past decade demonstrates that the democracy dilemma in unions cannot be successfully resolved by effective use of the democratic process alone and raises tentative questions ...


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 ...


Unionization Among College Faculty - 1996, Richard W. Hurd, Amy Foerster May 2011

Unionization Among College Faculty - 1996, Richard W. Hurd, Amy Foerster

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] Unionization among college and university faculty continued its slow but steady increase in 1995. Academic unions now represent 246,207 professors, a growth of 3,986 (1.65 percent) from that reported in last year’s NCSCBHEP's Directory of Faculty Contracts and Bargaining Agents in Institutions of Higher Education. We can now report 504 bargaining agents on 1,115 campuses throughout the United States. These increases can be attributed to three sources. First, unions won 4 out of 4 collective bargaining elections during 1995 to determine new bargaining agents. Second, some existing bargaining units grew in size as ...


Non-Faculty Unionization At Institutions Of Higher Education, Richard W. Hurd May 2011

Non-Faculty Unionization At Institutions Of Higher Education, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The decade of the 1980's was a difficult one for the labor movement as membership and bargaining power declined for most unions in most industries. Higher education, however, provided a much more congenial environment. Faculty unionization expanded slowly but steadily at public sector institutions, although these gains were partially offset by private sector membership losses in the wake of the Yeshiva decision. In addition, there was a flurry of organizing activity among non-faculty employees, particularly clerical workers. The clerical worker organizing of the 1980's resulted in many highly visible successes for the labor movement. Particularly noteworthy were ...


Barriers To Union Organizing, Richard W. Hurd May 2011

Barriers To Union Organizing, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The current environment presents dramatic challenges for the American labor movement. Structural change in the economy has meant job loss in traditionally unionized sectors such as heavy manufacturing, and job gains in the less unionized service industries. Deregulation and increased international trade have created competitive pressures on unionized industries, resulting in significant concessions and a reduction in bargaining power. Simultaneously, unions have contended for twelve years with unfriendly government regulators who have displayed little commitment to timely and vigorous enforcement of protective labor legislation. In particular, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of the Reagan and Bush administrations has ...


The Unionization Of Clerical Workers At Large U.S. Universities And Colleges, Richard W. Hurd, Gregory Woodhead May 2011

The Unionization Of Clerical Workers At Large U.S. Universities And Colleges, Richard W. Hurd, Gregory Woodhead

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The unionization of clerical workers on college campuses is steadily increasing and becoming the subject of greater scrutiny. The National Center has long been interested in this facet of unionization and when we learned of the work of Professor Hurd in this area we expressed an interest in publishing his research. This article presents Hurd's and Woodhead's research on college and university clerical unionization.


The Unionization Of Clerical Workers In Colleges And Universities: A Status Report, Richard W. Hurd May 2011

The Unionization Of Clerical Workers In Colleges And Universities: A Status Report, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The 1980s have presented a myriad of problems for the labor movement as membership and bargaining power have declined in manufacturing, construction and transportation. Attempting to come to grips with the new reality of an economy dominated by the service sector, unions have expanded their organizing efforts among white collar workers. In the process, they have discovered a particularly receptive clientele among the clerical employees of colleges and universities. This paper identifies factors which influence the outcome of clerical organizing drives on campus, estimates the extent of organization among these workers, and summarizes recent developments including strike activity. It ...


A Preliminary Report On Non-Faculty Bargaining At Colleges And Universities - 1993, Richard Hurd, Elizabeth O'Leary May 2011

A Preliminary Report On Non-Faculty Bargaining At Colleges And Universities - 1993, Richard Hurd, Elizabeth O'Leary

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] Although we will present more detailed data in subsequent sections, we would like to present a few key pieces of information here. Public sector campuses are substantially more likely to be unionized than private sector, with 55.7% of public and 16.8% of private reporting one or more non-faculty bargaining units. Geographically, non-faculty unionization is notably more prevalent in the Northeast, the Midwest and on the Pacific coast than elsewhere. Among non-faculty employees, there are notable variations in unionization rates. Approximately 43.8% of blue collar employees are unionized (substantially more than reported two years ago), compared to ...


The Unionization Of Clerical, Technical, And Professional Employees In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity, Richard W. Hurd May 2011

The Unionization Of Clerical, Technical, And Professional Employees In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] Union organizing among non-teaching white collar employees of colleges and universities persists. To the discomfort of many university administrators, high visibility union successes at Yale, Columbia, Harvard, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Illinois were not isolated instances but part of a trend.

Professional, technical, and clerical employees' desire for a more effective voice, has combined with the economic insecurity associated with stubborn budgetary pressures, to encourage these workers to pursue union representation. Unions have responded to this opportunity with enthusiasm, experimenting with innovative organizing and bargaining strategies in the relatively open environment offered by institutions of ...


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 ...


Beyond The Organizing Model: The Transformation Process In Local Unions, Bill Fletcher, Richard W. Hurd Sep 2010

Beyond The Organizing Model: The Transformation Process In Local Unions, Bill Fletcher, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The ideological foundations of traditional U.S. trade unionism have been called into question by world and domestic events. The post-World War II labor movement, founded on a social truce with capital and the apparent inevitability of a rising living standard, has hit a bulkhead-piercing iceberg of dramatic proportions. The global economy, economic restructuring, deregulation, and privatization have wrought destruction on U.S. unions. In the wake of this devastation, it has become common, even for union leaders, to define unionism in objectively negative terms (e.g., without a union, you have no protection from arbitrary management). As a ...


Patterned Responses To Organizing: Case Studies Of The Union-Busting Convention, Richard W. Hurd, Joseph B. Uehlein Sep 2010

Patterned Responses To Organizing: Case Studies Of The Union-Busting Convention, Richard W. Hurd, Joseph B. Uehlein

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] In June 1993, the Industrial Union Department (IUD) of the AFL-CIO initiated a project to gather cases from affiliated unions that would highlight aspects of the National Labor Relations Board process deserving attention from those shaping labor law reform proposals. Based on the cases submitted, we conclude that in its current form the National Labor Relations Act serves to impede union organizing. Particularly problematic are NLRB policies that allow employers to wage no-holds-barred antiunion campaigns. Even where there are legal restrictions on specific actions, the penalties for violations are so meager that they serve no deterrent effect. The cases ...


Introduction: The Context For The Reform Of Labor Law, Sheldon Friedman, Richard W. Hurd, Rudolph A. Oswald, Ronald L. Seeber Sep 2010

Introduction: The Context For The Reform Of Labor Law, Sheldon Friedman, Richard W. Hurd, Rudolph A. Oswald, Ronald L. Seeber

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] It has become increasingly clear that the U.S. system of collective bargaining is no longer a realistic option for a large and growing proportion of American workers, and the situation will continue to worsen absent a major redirection of public policy. The decline in union density rates in this country is alarming to those who value and promote unionization. The extent to which this decline is due to management resistance and the failure of the law to promote collective bargaining is an important question that requires continued study and debate. Opinion polls reveal that for millions of nonunion ...