This paper examines the history of silicosis in the mines of the western United States between 1890 and 1943. After establishing the seriousness of the health threat posed by the disease, the author describes the methods of prevention known to be effective during that period, the slow pace at which mine operators adopted those methods, and their campaign to defeat silicosis-compensation legislation in one western state, Arizona. Also described is the surprisingly passive role played in this controversy by the Western Federation of Miners. Finally, the author finds some empirical evidence of the Kerr-Siegel hypothesis, namely, silicosis may have been a "mass grievance" that helps to explain the violent labor history of the mining West. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
This paper analyzes the adequacy and equity of compensation to the survivors of 560 men who died between 1967 and 1977 from workplace exposure to asbestos. Data were gathered in interviews with the men's widows, who received compensation primarily from workers' compensation, social insurance, private pensions, and tort awards and settlements. The results show that compensation was neither adequate in amount, when compared to income losses, nor equitably distributed among survivors. The authors use their findings to evaluate one of the recent bills before Congress that would institute a federal system of compensation for asbestos-related deaths. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
This study examines the common assumption that unionized professionals will seek to expand the scope of negotiations to include issues reflecting distinctly professional concerns. Two questions are posed: Do professionals distinguish professional collective bargaining goals from more traditional bargaining objectives and, if so, do they view these professional goals as more or less important than the traditional ones? The author asked a sample of unionized registered nurses to appraise in a mail questionnaire an array of collective bargaining goals. Half the goals reflected traditional objectives subsumed under wages, hours, and working conditions; the other half reflected professional concerns, such as inservice education. The results show that these nurses differentiated professional from traditional goals and attached more importance to the former. The practical and theoretical implications are discussed.
This paper uses 1977 data from a national probability sample of 1,200 hospitals to estimate the effect of unions on wages and fringe benefits in four occupations: registered nurses, practical nurses, secretaries, and housekeepers. The results show that unionization has a significant impact on wages that increases with the length of time collective bargaining has been in effect at the individual hospital. The overall wage effect of unions is about 8 percent for both types of nurses and 11 to 12 percent for secretaries and housekeepers employed in hospitals. The authors also estimate an equation for hospital wide fringe benefits, which shows that such benefits are positively related to the percent of full-time employees in the four occupations covered by union contracts.
This study contains estimates of wage equations for white male union and nonunion employees. The authors find that nonunion wages are generally more responsive than union wages to individuals' education and experience and to regional price-level variation. Despite those differences, however, estimates of union-nonunion wage differentials based on these separate equations do not differ greatly from a differential obtained from a union dummy variable in an equation based on combined union and nonunion observations. Union-nonunion differentials vary widely across occupational groups and are generally larger in the lower skilled and more highly unionized occupations. The results for manufacturing, for which additional industry data are available, indicate a negative impact of high concentration ratios on the wages of all workers and a greater impact of establishment size on nonunion than on union wages. Data were drawn from the May 1973 Current Population Survey.
Using a survey of two cohorts of men and women who received Ph.D.s in the years 1958-63 and 1967-72, the authors test two hypotheses: (1) that the relatively lower earnings of highly educated women can be explained largely by their career interruptions and by their lesser willingness to accumulate human capital in anticipation of such interruptions, and (2) that the differential in earnings between men and women increases with age because of career interruptions and that the gap narrows once women reenter the labor force on a permanent basis The findings do not lend support to either of these hypotheses, leading the authors to reject the proposition that the lower rewards of women Ph.D.s are primarily caused by their own voluntary decisions.
Investigates the male-female income differences in a sample of physical therapists in the United States. Estimates of earnings functions for the profession; Reasons behind male-female wage differentials. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
Why do we observe a wage differential between smokers and non-smokers? Pooling reports of current and prior smoking activity across 15 years from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) allows the reconstruction of individual smoking histories. Dividing the sample into smoking history groups, the four largest of which are: persistent smokers, never smokers, former smokers, and future quitters reveals that there is no observed wage gap between former smokers and those who have never smoked. There is, however, a wage gap between those smokers who will continue smoking and three other groups of individuals: (1) those smokers who will quit smoking in the future, (2) those smokers who have quit smoking already, and (3) those who never smoked. The wage gap between smokers and non-smokers, observed in the 1986 cross-section, is largely driven by those who persist as smokers, 1986-2001. These results support the hypothesis that the cross-sectional wage differential is not driven by smoking per se, but may be driven by a non-causal explanation. One plausible interpretation is that a common factor such as myopia, leads to reduced investment in both health capital or firm-specific or other human capital.
Concludes that strikers in the public sector can be replaced and dismissed even under laws providing the right to strike in the United States. Information on the dismissal and replacement of an employee under common law; Discussion of the replacement of a striker under the National Labor Relations Act; Role of the Civil Service Commission. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
The labor relations problems of government employees are becoming a subject of increasing attention and concern, The federal government in 1962 took significant action in the form of a Presidential Executive Order to regularize its dealings with organizations representing its employees. This study delves into the development of that Executive Order, explores the events which have occurred since its issuance, and attempts to predict some of its additional consequences. (Author's abstract courtesy EBSCO.)
Presents a study that discussed prospects for the use of advisory grievance arbitration in the United States Federal Service. Details of arbitration agreements signed by government agencies; Reasons for the absence of advisory grievance arbitrations; Comparison of arbitration cost and financial arrangements. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
Comments on an article written by Arthur Carol and Samuel Parry in the January 1968 issue of the "Industrial and Labor Relations Review," on a rank ordering of occupations according to an expected present value criterion. Ordering implied by stochastic dominance; Assumptions on the nature of individual occupational preferences; Analysis of the ordering. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
The authors of this paper use the median voter model to predict the patterns of rank-and-file voting on wage concessions in a multiplant setting, then test those predictions using data from the 1982 GM-UAW negotiations. The model predicts that workers in plants with large layoffs will vote in favor of a wage concession only if they believe that a concession will save their jobs. Surprisingly, workers in plants with growing or stable employment are also actually more likely to vote Yes. A third prediction is that the Yes vote will be smallest in plants with the most adversarial labor relations. The empirical analysis supports all three predictions. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
In creating the first American labor movement, the craftsmen of Andrew Jackson's time advanced several ideas that challenged the doctrine of extreme laissez-faire which was then emerging. This essay examines six of those ideas-such as the beliefs that there were an excessive inequality of wealth and widespread monopoly-which provided support for the idea and practice of trade unionism. The author shows that these ideas have continued to be espoused by leaders and members of successive labor federations, including those of the AFL-CIO. He suggests that the persistence of these ideas reflects the persistence in some form of the political, social, and economic inequities that first evoked the ideas. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
This paper examines the participation of Chinese men in four California industries in the late 1800s to determine the relationship between product market structure and racist hiring practices. Because white women, a traditional source of cheap labor, were scarce in post-Gold Rush California, white employers hired Chinese men, despite widespread anti-Chinese racism. As white women became plentiful, the canning and woolen mills industries began to switch to them, whereas the more competitive shoe and cigar industries continued to employ Chinese men. Factors other than market structure, however, resulted in particularly virulent anti-Chinese attitudes in the more competitive industries, and those attitudes indirectly stimulated the exclusionary hiring practices in the less competitive industries. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
Discusses reasons for the growth in the membership of the Knights of Labor, a union of railroad workers from 1885 to 1886 in the U.S. Connection between the success of the group on winning two strikes held in railroads owned by Jay Gould in 1885; Effect of the eight-hour movement on the growth of the organization. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
Features professor Edwin E. Witte, father of the United States' Social Security Act. Personal and academic background; Important role in the formulation of the social security program; Reputation and character; Career highlights; Witte's combination of values and experience of a political economist, social reformer and historian. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
The brotherhoods of operating railroad workers have been distinguished during their long careers by their strict adherence to craft unionism and their nonaffiliation with trade union federations, such as the AFL and CIO. In the 1880s, however, when other groups of workers were experimenting with craft federations and industrial unions, railroad workers were similarly engaged in assaying the merits of these forms of organization. This article discusses the efforts to establish a federation of the brotherhoods and, later, an industrial union of railroad workers. (Author's abstract courtesy EBSCO.)
The author documents and analyzes changes in wage structure across manufacturing industries over the years 1890-1990. Interindustry differentials in wages were highly stable over that period for production workers, but much less stable for nonproduction workers. Interindustry wage patterns were very similar for production and nonproduction workers in 1990, though this similarity dates back only to 1958. Although dispersion of wages across industries followed varying trends over the period, it was higher in 1990 than at any previous time in this century. The variables that have been most strongly correlated with wage growth are productivity growth, rising union density, rising capital intensity, and profit growth. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
This study analyzes the determinants of strikes in French coal mining over the period 1890-1935. The results indicate that factors emphasized by traditional bargaining power models were more important determinants of strikes in that setting than was economic variability. This finding supports the hypothesis that neoclassical theories of strikes-Hicksian theories that strikes are a function of the parties' lack of information about the economic environment in which bargaining takes place-are inappropriate in some historical and political contexts. Specifically, the authors argue that the many settings where (as in the case considered) strikes are politically motivated, firms have simple economic structures, and collective bargaining is poorly institutionalized should provide evidence disconfirming neoclassical predictions. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
Tests the relationship between the labor force participation rates of white females and the industrial structure of the economy as well as supply variables such as educational attainment. Pattern of white female work rates over the 1890-1950 period; Variables that were tested; Female work rates and fertility ratios. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
In this era of widespread collective bargaining, do wages behave differently than in earlier periods when labor markets may have been more competitively structured? The author of this article finds that even in the preNew Deal period, 1890-1932, no more than half of the year-to-year movement of wages in manufacturing industries can be accounted for by changes in the state of the labor market. While the magnitude of wage response to given levels of labor demand (or supply) generally has been greater in the post-World War II period, the analysis shows that, except for depression years, the first decade and a half of the twentieth century experienced wage increases similar to current movements. (Author's abstract courtesy EBSCO.)
Analyzing data from extensive surveys of U.S. nonfarm families in 1889-90-predominantly families from eastern states-the authors of this paper show that workers affiliated with labor organizations had earnings that were 22% higher than the earnings of other workers, an effect comparable in magnitude to estimates for modern unions. Wage differentials varied considerably across the eight industries studied and across skill levels within each industry. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
This is a study of the economic lives of American bituminous coal miners in the early part of this century. Most studies of labour in coal mining focus on the struggle to organize unions. This study offers a broader, more quantitative picture of the labour market, making use of economic theory and statistics, and emphasizing competition among employers for labour, the legal environment, the development of institutions in response to transactions costs, as well as the impact of unions. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/economicsfinance/9780195067255/toc.html
This paper presents an analysis of data on male workers taken from an 1894 survey of the Iowa labor market. Consistent with the results of earlier research by Paul Douglas, the author finds evidence of a statistically significant and economically important union earnings premium. The analysis also shows that late nineteenth-century unionism, like unionism in the twentieth century, tended to reduce wage dispersion. On the other hand, the author finds no evidence that late nineteenth-century unions reduced the length of the workday for union members compared to nonunion workers. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
Some students of the AFL's internal structure have argued that the concept of voluntarism evolved over the years into an ideology used to justify, among other things, the stifling of rank-and-file protest within federation affiliates. This paper tests that interpretation of voluntarism by examining the behavior of Samuel Gompers and other AFL leaders in the face of a rank-and-file movement against the leadership of the Brotherhood of Painters and Decorators during the years 1894 to 1900. The authors show that voluntaristic principles actually afforded AFL leaders a good deal of flexibility in dealing with this factional dispute, allowing the dissident group to grow while Gompers worked to obtain a negotiated settlement between the two factions. Those efforts culminated in a federation-sponsored unity conference in 1900 that set the stage for the dissident faction to assume control of the Painters' union. The authors therefore conclude that on this issue the critics of the AFL have overstated their case. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
Analysis of the average workweek of workers in the United States from 1900 to 1940. Discussion of the shortcomings of the traditional labor market model; Empirical results of the study. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
This study challenges the impression left by most historical accounts of office work that the feminization of office work was total, inevitable, and somehow "natural." The author argues that when business machines and rationalized systems of office work came together (around 1900), women were initially chosen to fill many of the new jobs partly because of the long-standing use of women in similarly routinized "light manufacturing"; and they were subsequently hired in ever-greater numbers primarily because the pervasive discrimination that denied them most career opportunities ensured that they would accept low wages. The feminization of office work was not, however, as extensive as the literature generally claims. By using the marriage bar, employers were able to create an office work force segmented by gender, with more prestigious job titles and almost all promotion opportunities reserved for men. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
As the author states in his introductory paragraph, the influence of the Catholic Church on American labor needs considerable exploration. The article is an attempt to fill, at least in part, this void in the history of the American labor movement. (Author's abstract courtesy EBSCO.)
This study aims to assess the recent debate that has emerged in the literature over the "economic" and "organizational-political" models of strikes and to propose and test a synthesis of those models as an explanation for the pattern of strike activity in the United States since 1900. The paper begins with a review of strike activity in the post-1900 period and then develops a conceptual framework incorporating six factors-the size of union membership, economic conditions, political events, institutional arrangements, psychological variables, and the extent of rival unionism-to explain this historical pattern. The second part of the paper contains a regression analysis of strike activity over the 1900-1977 period. The regression results show that both the economic factors of unemployment and inflation and various noneconomic factors, such as changes in union membership, the outbreak of World War II, and enactment of New Deal legislation, are significant in explaining variations in strike activity during the period studied. The results also show that economic and noneconomic factors have worked together to cause a marked reduction in the variation in strike activity in the post-1948 period. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
This paper examines 143 union mergers that have occurred since the turn of the century, identifying the frequency and forms of mergers (106 absorptions and 37 amalgamations) and the affiliations of merger partners. The data for three broad time periods and for five-year intervals indicate, among other trends, a long-term decline in the proportion of amalgamations and an increase in merger activity since the formation of the AFL-CIO in 1955. The author also discusses the frequency and forms of mergers between affiliates of the AFL, CIO, AFL-CIO, and unaffiliated unions. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
This paper examines the question of whether economic factors played an important role in determining strike activity in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. A review of recent research shows one author, David Snyder, concluding that economic factors mattered little during that period and that union organization and political variables explained much more; and another, P. K. Edwards, concluding the opposite. A retest of these authors' analyses, employing ordinary least squares regression and a variety of measures, suggests that Snyder's position is more sound. This author argues, however, that Edwards was correct in claiming that economic factors are major determinants of the extent of unionism as well as of strike activity, and thus one needs to apply a two-stage least squares test of the Snyder hypothesis. When that is done, the results show that economic variables are highly significant determinants of strike activity throughout the pre-1949 period, but for the subperiod 1921-29 noneconomic factors also play a role. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
In this survey of union membership in the twentieth century, principal attention is paid to the white-collar component of the labor force. White-collar jobs have been increasing at a much more rapid rate than have manual jobs, a trend which promises to continue into the future. It is in this area that the greatest potential for future union organization exists, yet it is here that unions have experienced the least success in attracting members. (Author's abstract courtesy EBSCO.)
This is a study of the changing size of occupational classes, of their concomitant pay structure and the timing and circumstances of changes in this structure, in the period 1906–1960. In marshalling the facts about the numbers of people in the various broad occupational classes, Dr Routh has indicated the rise or fall of numbers in the occupations of which each class is composed, and the relation of these changes to the changing industrial structure of the economy. He also shows changes in participation rate by age and sex over the half-century, and makes some comparisons of the broad occupational structure of Britain with that of some other countries.
Examination of the movement of wage differentials between skilled and unskilled laborers. Explanations for the wage differentials in labor; Model for regressing variables that express aspects of demand and supply; Questions answered by the model about movements of skill differentials. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
Discusses the history of the workmen's compensation and pension proposal made by the United States Brewers' Association to the United Brewery Workers International in 1910. Factors involved in the negotiation process; Employer liability around 1900; Self-interest and paternalism. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
Discusses the application of labor injunction in trade union disputes in Great Britain. History of the labor injunction in Great Britain; Effect of Trade Union Acts on the jurisdiction of courts of equity; Legal action against unionism in 1892-1906. (Abstract copyright EBSCO.)
The main theme of this 1972 book, the determination of wages, is introduced by a historical analysis of the labour market in the mines and an examination of the economics and financial structure of the gold mining industry. Dr Wilson believes that successive South African governments used the gold mining industry when planning labour policies, so that the mines’ labour strategy exerted a profound influence on the social and economic structure of South Africa. The author shows how collusion between the mining groups enabled them to hold down black wages so effectively that in real terms African miners’ wages were likely lower at the time of this book’s publication than they were in 1911. The strong bargaining position occupied by white miners allowed them to be the sole beneficiaries of increases in productivity, so that the distribution of income would become more unequal over time.
It is well known that the total membership of American Federation of Labor unions plummeted from 4,093,000 members in 1920 to but 2,745,300 members in 1930. Nor is there any dearth of analyses of this membership catastrophe. Independent researchers have probed the economic, social, and political milieu of the time and have listed several obstacles to a growing, virile unionism in the 1920s. Among the obstacles listed are: (1) the substantial increase in real wages which workingmen enjoyed; (2) unprecedented employer hostility to unionism (in such forms as resort to strikebreaking, use of yellow-dog contracts, formation of company unions, and the development of schemes of welfare capitalism); (3) adverse court decisions, injunctions, and few laws favorable to labor; (4) the antiradical hysteria which swept the United States after World War I; (5) technological changes and shifts in industrial location; (6) and the policies and leadership of the AFL itself. There has not, however, been any over-all description and evaluation of the variety of policies and alignments devised by the AFL national office and individual labor leaders in a fruitless effort to create an atmosphere more friendly to unionism and membership expansion. It is hoped that this article at least partially satisfies this need. (Author's abstract courtesy EBSCO.)
This paper presents an analysis of several experiments in union-management cooperation that took place during the 1920s. The author examines the economic and social factors that influenced the formation, operation, and decline of these experiments. Although observers at that time hoped that union-management cooperation would be widely adopted, it extended only to industries suffering from declining markets for union-made products and failed to survive the Great Depression. When the author compares these early experiments to current cooperative endeavors, he concludes that unions and employers will voluntarily work together to improve productivity only within an intermediate range of economic stress. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
Newly collected data on India's textile industry over the years 1921-38 show strike rates far higher than those observed in the British or U.S. textile industries when they were at a similar stage of development, despite an absence of formal union organization or state support for collective bargaining. Colonial India's high strike frequency is hard to account for in terms of current theories of strikes and collective action in general. The author believe that these data may point to the important role of social norms of cooperation in sustaining collective action.
This examination of the Stock Market's responsiveness to strikes looks specifically at strike actions that labor historians generally view as the major ones occurring in the United States in the years 1925-37. The authors find that strikes had large, negative effects on industry stock value. Longer strikes, violent strikes, strikes in which unions 'won,' industry-wide strikes, strikes that led to union recognition, and strikes that led to large wage increases were associated with larger negative share price reactions than were other strikes. Much of the 'news' generated by the typical strike seems to have been registered by the Stock Market very early in the strike. However, there were also some fairly large stock price reactions to news that could be fully revealed only at the end of a strike. (Author's abstract.)
American labor leaders, desirous of repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act, may find in this article comfort or despair. In 1946, a year before the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, British labor succeeded in securing repeal of legislation similarly regarded as restrictive by unions--but only after a twenty-year struggle! The effort of British labor leaders to remove the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act of 1927 from the statute books is discussed in this article. (Author's abstract courtesy EBSCO.)
The purpose of this article is to measure and compare the volume and the trend of strike activity in five countries: Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, and the United States. Such a comparison ought to throw light on a number of pertinent and persistent questions which have been frequently asked but never satisfactorily answered: (1) As the labor movement grows older, larger, and more powerful, what is the effect upon the frequency of strikes and the length of strikes? In other words, is the inherent tendency of trade unionism belligerent or conciliatory? Our total judgment of unionism will depend to a considerable extent on the answer to this question. (2) Is the strike problem more severe in the United States than elsewhere and, if so, why? (3) In general, what are the economic and political institutions conducive to a high, or low, volume of strike activity? (4) Is there any valid theory of strikes explaining their underlying causes? (Author's abstract courtesy EBSCO.)
This study of the rubber industry in the 1930s confirms the recently developed thesis that employers in that decade were more diverse in their responses to the rise of organized labor, and more successful in thwarting or containing unions, than most early labor histories have given them credit for. The author finds that small and medium-sized firms in the industry were highly sensitive to short-term economic considerations, whereas the largest firms implemented policies that reflected previous industrial relations experiences. Goodyear, Firestone, and U.S. Rubber adopted policies that the author (borrowing a typology from Howell Harris) characterizes as persistent anti-unionism, realism, and progressivism, respectively. All three achieved most of their objectives, including the elimination or restriction of union influence. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
Whereas most recent research examining the effects of the NLRA on labor-management relations has focused on the impact of specific provisions of the law, this study provides an estimate of the impact of the passage of the NLRA on 75 firms that were at great risk of being unionized in the 1930s. Taking changes in shareholder wealth as a measure of the shift in the balance of power caused by the NLRA, the authors find that the passage of the NLRA caused a statistically and economically significant decline in shareholder wealth for the sampled firms. Specifically, by April 1937, stockholder wealth in the firms was 15.9% lower than would have been expected had the NLRA not been enacted. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
This study contrasts two airline strikes that took place 51 years apart: the Continental strike of 1983-85 and the Century strike of 1932. Despite strong resemblances between the two strikes-for example, each was provoked by the actions of a corporate raider (Errett Cord in 1932, Frank Lorenzo in 1983-85), was led by pilots, was triggered by deep wage cuts, and was debated in special congressional hearings-management lost in 1932 and won in 1983-85. The author argues that the different outcomes are largely accountable to different political climates: the political climate of the 1930s favored government regulation and unionization, whereas that of the 1980s favored a free market and deregulation. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)