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Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2010

Howard R. Stanger

The growth of organized labor during the latter part of the nineteenth century triggered an organizational impulse on the part of employers across the country. Although…

Abstract

The growth of organized labor during the latter part of the nineteenth century triggered an organizational impulse on the part of employers across the country. Although some employers’ associations began as “negotiatory” bodies engaged in collective bargaining, the vast majority of them shifted toward a more “belligerent” approach. Academic scholarship has generally focused on the belligerents at the national level. Recently, some scholars have begun to study organized employers at the community level, but they continue to feature the more typical staunchly anti-union associations. This study of Columbus, Ohio's master printers’ association reveals a different pattern of local labor relations during the years between 1887 and 1960 – an association that had generally smooth bargaining relationships with craft unions. Columbus’ conservative and sheltered economy enabled the longstanding cooperative shared printing craft culture to thrive. But changes in Columbus’ economy, shifts in larger patterns of industrial relations, the hard-line influence of the national employers’ association, and technological changes altered the context of local labor relations. The result was that, by 1960, the Columbus association sought the upper hand in labor relations by becoming a more traditional and belligerent employers’ association. This story of “latecomers” adds to our understanding of organized employer behavior under different historical periods and circumstances.

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Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-932-9

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Book part
Publication date: 30 December 2004

John Logan

The campaign for striker replacement legislation, which began in the late 1980s and had effectively ended by the mid-1990s, was the most important political battle over…

Abstract

The campaign for striker replacement legislation, which began in the late 1980s and had effectively ended by the mid-1990s, was the most important political battle over labor legislation since the defeat of the Labor Law Reform Bill in 1978. Striker replacement was the AFL-CIO’s top legislative priority in the early 1990s and, coming quickly after the passage of NAFTA, which labor had opposed, the defeat of its campaign solidified organized labor’s reputation for failure in legislative battles. As yet, however, the political campaign for striker replacement legislation has attracted surprisingly little attention from industrial relations scholars.

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Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-305-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2007

Peter L. Francia

Popular accounts of the labor movement suggest that unions have become weak organizations. There are, however, trends that indicate laborʼs political power has not waned…

Abstract

Popular accounts of the labor movement suggest that unions have become weak organizations. There are, however, trends that indicate laborʼs political power has not waned in recent years. Using data from multiple sources, the results in this study indicate: (1) despite declines in union density, the percentage of union households has remained steady for two decades; (2) unions continue to produce a strong Democratic vote from its membership, even from its white male members; (3) unions are among the top campaign contributors and spenders in American elections; (4) unions hold significant influence among congressional Democrats and have made gains at the state and local level; and (5) public opinion of labor unions has remained consistently positive for several decades.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2009

Gerald A. Toner

The objective of the paper is to describe how criminal prosecutors in the USA have expanded the reach of federal statutes punishing fraud and extortion to combat the…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of the paper is to describe how criminal prosecutors in the USA have expanded the reach of federal statutes punishing fraud and extortion to combat the influence of organized criminal groups in certain American labor unions and employee benefit plans from 1980 to 2006.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews newspaper accounts and published judicial decisions to explain how prosecutors have used fraud and extortion offenses in novel ways on a case‐by‐case basis to prosecute labor‐management corruption in the USA.

Findings

Although the American federal prosecutor's arsenal is limited to statutory crimes, prosecutors are continually evolving new means of addressing corruption on a case‐specific basis in the best tradition of Anglo‐American common law. By diligently persuading trial judges, appellate courts, and the US Congress of the merit of looking at fraud and extortion in new ways, federal prosecutors have carried out the intent of the statutory laws which Congress enacted to deal with corruption in government, business, and labor unions.

Practical implications

The federal criminal offense of “honest service fraud,” which was codified by Congress only following successful criminal prosecutions of public and private corruption, will continue to be used to address corruption on the part of persons holding fiduciary duties toward union members and employee pension and health benefit plan participants as the American retired population increases and the national government assumes greater oversight of employee health care.

Originality/value

The paper encourages the reader, especially those in law enforcement, to think creatively about the scope of existing criminal statutes while reviewing or enforcing their application to all forms of organizational corruption.

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Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Book part
Publication date: 24 July 2020

Gayle Hamilton and Marick F. Masters

The future of unions hangs in the balance. Labor unions face enormous challenges to overcome decades of decline and diminishing power. The authors examine the current…

Abstract

The future of unions hangs in the balance. Labor unions face enormous challenges to overcome decades of decline and diminishing power. The authors examine the current status of unions with an eye toward identifying pathways to rejuvenation. Our analysis focuses on what the authors know about the decline of unions, how its compares historically, and what avenues are available to unions to change. Pathways to growth with undoubtedly require breaking old molds, which have proven ineffective. Unions need to explore new models of representation to take advantage of a changing workforce with new employment relationships typified by the “gig economy.” The authors present an agenda for fruitful research and discuss the implications of a weakened labor movement on the well-being of society.

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Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-076-1

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Book part
Publication date: 2 October 2003

Rae Cooper, Mark Westcott and Russell D Lansbury

Revitalization or regeneration has become an increasingly urgent task for Australian unions. This is largely due to the longer-term chronic decline in membership of…

Abstract

Revitalization or regeneration has become an increasingly urgent task for Australian unions. This is largely due to the longer-term chronic decline in membership of organised trade unions and the increasingly hostile political and legal climate faced by Australian trade unions. Pessimistic scenarios presented by neo-liberal politicians and commentators have trade unions dissolving into obscurity over time as their relevance in an advanced post-industrial society declines. More optimistic scenarios, in part based on the recent experience of labor movements in the U.K. and Canada, see the difficult current climate as an opportunity to re-evaluate union strategies, structures and policies.

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Labor Revitalization: Global Perspectives and New Initiatives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-153-8

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Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2016

Charles R. McCann and Vibha Kapuria-Foreman

Robert Franklin Hoxie was of the first generation of University of Chicago economists, a figure of significance in his own time. He is often heralded as the first of the…

Abstract

Robert Franklin Hoxie was of the first generation of University of Chicago economists, a figure of significance in his own time. He is often heralded as the first of the Institutional economists and the impetus behind the field of labor economics. Yet today, his contributions appear as mere footnotes in the history of economic thought, when mentioned at all, despite the fact that in his professional and popular writings he tackled some of the most pressing problems of the day. The topics upon which he focused included bimetallism, price theory, methodology, the economics profession, socialism, syndicalism, scientific management, and trade unionism, the last being the field with which he is most closely associated. His work attracted the notice of some of the most famous economists of his time, including Frank Fetter, J. Laurence Laughlin, Thorstein Veblen, and John R. Commons. For all the promise, his suicide at the age of 48 ended what could have been a storied career. This paper is an attempt to resurrect Hoxie through a review of his life and work, placing him within the social and intellectual milieux of his time.

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Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-962-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Dae Yong Jeong and John Lawler

This paper proposes a new theoretical framework to explain enterprise unionism and conducts the first systematic comparative study of union structure in nine Asian…

Abstract

This paper proposes a new theoretical framework to explain enterprise unionism and conducts the first systematic comparative study of union structure in nine Asian countries. Our framework emphasizes political dynamics and the role of the state in labor relations and argues that the initial period of the collective bargaining era constituted a critical juncture (state labor policy) that occurred in distinctive ways in different countries and that these differences played a central role in shaping the different union structures in the following decades. The nine countries are mainly divided into three groups, depending on the type of state labor policy: enforcement of enterprise unionism; centralization/laissez-faire (non-enterprise unionism); and dual unionism/gradual transition (middle-ground). Governmental data were used for the study. A clear correspondence between state labor policy and union structure in each of these groups was found. We believe that our framework significantly enhances our understanding of the Asian cases. Future research should explore the validity of the proposed framework through comparative studies of Latin American cases where enterprise unions have also been observed.

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Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-470-6

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Book part
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Rina Agarwala and Jennifer Jihye Chun

Gender is a defining feature of informal/precarious work in the twenty-first century, yet studies rarely adopt a gendered lens when examining collective efforts to…

Abstract

Gender is a defining feature of informal/precarious work in the twenty-first century, yet studies rarely adopt a gendered lens when examining collective efforts to challenge informality and precarity. This chapter foregrounds the gendered dimensions of informal/precarious workers’ struggles as a crucial starting point for re-theorizing the future of global labor movements. Drawing upon the findings of the volume’s six chapters spanning five countries (the United States, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, and India) and two gender-typed sectors (domestic work and construction), this chapter explores how gender is intertwined into informal/precarious workers’ movements, why gender is addressed, and to what end. Across countries and sectors, informal/precarious worker organizations are on the front lines of challenging the multiple forms of gendered inequalities that shape contemporary practices of accumulation and labor regulation. They expose the forgotten reality that class structures not only represent classification struggles around work, but also around social identities, such as gender, race, and migration status. However, these organizing efforts are not fighting to transform the gendered division of labor or embarking on revolutionary struggles to overturn private ownership and liberalized markets. Nonetheless, these struggles are making major transformations in terms of increasing women’s leadership and membership in labor movements and exposing how gender interacts with other ascriptive identities to shape work. They are also radicalizing hegemonic scripts of capitalist accumulation, development, and even gender to attain recognition for female-dominated occupations and reproductive needs for the first time ever. These outcomes are crucial as sources of emancipatory transformations at a time when state and public support for labor and social protection is facing a deep assault stemming from the pressures of transnational production and globalizing markets.

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Gendering Struggles against Informal and Precarious Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-368-5

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Book part
Publication date: 11 June 2003

Lara D Nielsen

The 1922 Supreme Court anti-trust exemption awarded to organized baseball was quick to grasp the prerogatives of the emerging U.S. popular culture industries, and displays…

Abstract

The 1922 Supreme Court anti-trust exemption awarded to organized baseball was quick to grasp the prerogatives of the emerging U.S. popular culture industries, and displays the anomalies of performance in the law. The trade and commerce in cultural performances yield contradictory opinions about the distinctions between the functions of work and play, as well as the properties of work and the performing arts. The interconnecting functions of a sport like organized baseball, as an industry, an art, and a popular cultural entertainment makes baseball a rich object for analysis in the perplexing historical puzzle of decentralized U.S. cultural policy.

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Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-032-6

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