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Union Representation Elections

Union Representation Elections: Law and Reality

With a Foreword by Derek C. Bok
Copyright Date: 1976
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Union Representation Elections
    Book Description:

    Provides the first major effort to test the rules and regulations that underlie current practices in union elections and, at the same time, explores the role played by the National Labor Relations Board in regulating these elections. The book reports the findings of an empirical field study of thirty-one union representation elections involving over 1,000 employees to determine their pre-campaign attitudes, voting intent, actual vote, and the effect of the campaign on voting. It focuses on campaign issues, unlawful campaigning, working conditions, demographic factors, job-related variables, and other topics.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-631-0
    Subjects: Law, Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Tables
    (pp. vii-ix)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Derek C. Bok

    For many years, lonely voices have repeatedly been heard proclaiming the need for more empirical research in the field of law. In most areas of legal study, the results have been less than impressive. Law professors are seldom trained in the use of sophisticated techniques of data collection and analysis. Social scientists have not been much inclined to take an interest in the development of the law. More important still, most significant legal questions turn in the end on the weighing of interests and values that cannot be quantified or measured with any exactitude. As a result, although empirical research...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xx)
    Julius G. Getman, Stephen B. Goldberg and Jeanne B. Herman
  7. CHAPTER 1 NLRB Regulation of Campaign Tactics: The Behavioral Assumptions on Which the Board Regulates
    (pp. 1-32)

    The process by which a single union is selected to represent all employees in a particular unit is crucial to the American system of collective bargaining. If a majority votes for union representation, all employees are bound by that choice and the employer is obligated to recognize and bargain with the chosen union. The selection process is controlled by the National Labor Relations Act,¹ which applies to almost all nongovernmental employees² and takes place primarily through elections conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.³ In the decade from 1966–1975, the National Labor Relations Board conducted approximately 85,000 elections, in...

  8. CHAPTER 2 Methodology
    (pp. 33-52)

    The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of the preelection campaign, particularly unlawful campaigning, on employee predispositions to vote for or against union representation. In order to accomplish this objective, it was necessary to determine how employees intended to vote before the campaign began and how they ultimately voted. It was also necessary to determine which campaign issues employees remembered. Our assumption was that employees were less likely to have been influenced by campaign issues they did not remember than by those they did remember.

    We used a two-wave panel design, interviewing the same employees at different...

  9. CHAPTER 3 The Predispositions of Vote
    (pp. 53-72)

    Board regulation is based on the assumption that pre-campaign intent is tenuous and easily changed by the campaign. Employees, however, have been working for the employer involved and, as a result, may be expected to have stable attitudes toward their employer and their working conditions. In addition, some employees have been union members while holding previous jobs, and virtually all have been exposed to other peoples’ opinions about the merits of union representation.

    Since union organizing drives promote union representation as a remedy for unsatisfactory working conditions and company campaigns respond by praising working conditions and deprecating the value of...

  10. CHAPTER 4 The Campaign and Vote
    (pp. 73-110)

    Since 81 percent of the employees voted in accord with their pre-campaign attitudes and intent, the Board’s model of the employee whose vote is easily changed by the campaign is descriptive of at most 19 percent of the voters. Whatever effect the campaign may have had on other employees, it was not sufficient to cause them to vote contrary to their initial predispositions. Our discussion of the effect of the campaign considers the relationships between predispositions, campaign familiarity, and vote for all employees, as well as the relationship between the campaign and vote for those employees whose predispositions did not...

  11. CHAPTER 5 Unlawful Campaigning and Vote
    (pp. 111-130)

    The assumption underlying most Board decisions finding particular campaign tactics to be unlawful is that those tactics may coerce union supporters into voting against the union. On the basis of this assumption, the Board will set aside the results of an election in which the employer has sought to influence employee choice by threats or acts of reprisal (hereafter “reprisals”) or promises or grants of benefit (hereafter “benefits”). If the Board believes the effect of the employer’s unlawful conduct to be particularly great, it will order the employer to bargain with the union involved, even though a majority of the...

  12. CHAPTER 6 Union Authorization Cards and Vote
    (pp. 131-138)

    At the start of an organizing drive the union typically asks employees to sign cards authorizing it to represent them in bargaining with their employer. These authorization cards are most often used to satisfy the Board’s rule that a petition for a representation election must be supported by 30 percent of the employees. If, however, the Board finds the employer to have engaged in serious unfair labor practices preventing a fair election, and a majority of the employees have signed cards, the Board will order the employer to bargain with the union on the basis of its card majority.¹


  13. CHAPTER 7 An Alternative Model of Voting Behavior: The Legal Implications
    (pp. 139-164)

    Underlying Board regulation of union representation elections is an implicit model of the employee voter and a set of assumptions about the effect of the campaign on vote. The Board assumes that most employees know little about unions and have no firm opinions about whether or not they should vote for union representation. The pre-election campaign is assumed to provide employees with facts about union representation and the arguments for and against voting union so that they can make an informed choice. If the campaign is conducted in a calm and unemotional atmosphere, referred to by the Board as “laboratory...

    (pp. 165-168)
  15. Appendix B. Employee Interview Schedule — Wave I
    (pp. 169-178)
  16. Appendix C. Employee Interview Schedule — Wave II
    (pp. 179-186)
  17. Appendix D. MASTER OPEN-END CODE
    (pp. 187-208)
    (pp. 209-212)
    (pp. 213-214)
  20. Index
    (pp. 215-218)