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The Impact of New Unionization on Wages and Working Conditions

Richard B. Freeman and Morris M. Kleiner
Journal of Labor Economics
Vol. 8, No. 1, Part 2: Essays in Honor of Albert Rees (Jan., 1990), pp. S8-S25
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2535206
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Impact of New Unionization on Wages and Working Conditions
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Abstract

This study investigates the impact of union organization on the wages and labor practices of establishments newly organized in the 1980s. It uses a research design in which establishments are "paired" with their closest nonunion competitor. It finds that, unionism had only a modest effect on wages in the newly organized plants, which contrasts sharply with the huge union wage impact found in cross-section comparisons of union and nonunion individuals, but unionism substantially alters several personnel practices, creating grievance systems, greater seniority protection, and job bidding and posting. That newly organized establishments adopt union working conditions but grant only modest wage increases suggests that "collective voice" rather than monopoly wage gains is the key to understanding new unionism.

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