1151 lectures Unions, Collective Bargaining and Labor Market Impacts Introduction: two general views of unions Conservative: monopoly model. Unions want more for their own members but their gains have to be at the expense of everyone else, including nonunion workers. In this model unions have the same effect as monopolies. Liberal: voice model. Unions provide benefits to all workers, not just to union members, and they can also benefit employers: by giving voice to workers’ issues, thereby increasing efficiency and equality—the “high road.” And by constraining corporate excesses for short-term gains for managers that do not create value for the other stakeholders. In this model, unions can be partners with management on some issues and adversaries on others. The voice model also recognizes that unions are activists for political and social legislation —for democratic voting rights, for social security, healthcare, for civil rights, minimum wages—that create floors for the unorganized poorer groups, and above which unions negotiate. It is not necessary to hold that only one of these views is correct. The can apply in different degrees to different unions, to different bargaining environments and in the context of differing socio-political institutions in different countries. Outline of lectures1. Institutions: Union structure and membership, international comparisons, legal and institutional context for unionism in the U.S. 2. Models of union behavior: union goals and bargaining models. 3. Reasons for the decline of unionism since the 1980s.
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