Workplace hazards and workers’ desires for union representation
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This paper investigates “voice” responses to hazardous and otherwise disagreeable working conditions in the form of workers’ expressed desires for union representation. Using data from three surveys conducted between 1977 and 1982, workers exposed to significant health and safety risks on the job are found to be substantially more likely to report a willingness to vote pro-union than are comparable workers not similarly exposed. This finding is obtained using both subjective and objective measures of hazard and both union and nonunion workers. Management resistance, however, appears to play a strong role in determining the actual extent of unionization. Between 41 and 48 percent of workers in hazardous jobs desire union representation but have not achieved it.
KeywordsUnion Representation Collective Bargaining National Longitudinal Survey Nonunion Worker Hazard Exposure
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