Second plants located in areas without unions dont

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Chapter 14 / Exercise 8
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1 and 6. Second, plants located in areas without unions don’t provide information to employees that would enable them to compare economic benefits provided by union and nonunion organizations; and, as a result, employees may not be motivated to organize for economic reasons. This 15 D. G. Taras, “Managerial Intentions and Wage Determination in the Canadian Petroleum Industry,” Industrial Relations , 36 (1997), pp. 178–205; see also W. Lewchuk and D. Wells, “When Corporations Substitute for Adversarial Unions: Labour Markets and Human Resource Management at Magna,” Relations Industrielles , 61 (2006), pp. 639–665. 16 F. K. Foulkes, Personnel Policies in Large Nonunion Companies (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1980), pp. 45–57.
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Chapter 14 / Exercise 8
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198 Labor Relations assumption rests on the belief that employees will choose local plants as a logical comparison, instead of other plants in the industry. However, the evidence suggests that organizing around justice, fairness, and dignity issues is more successful than organizing that emphasizes economics. 17 Employers may associate plant size as a factor to use in avoiding unions. Evidence on union election success, covered in Chapter 6, found that units with fewer than 100 employees were more vulnerable to unionization than larger units. While very large plants are more difficult to organize, employers may also believe that the type of human resource management they would prefer to implement is difficult to inculcate in a large plant. Thus, the trend appears to be toward locating plants in labor market areas that are able to support medium-size operations and planning that they will generally not exceed 500 employees unless returns to scale are large. One problem with smaller plants is that they may not be optimally pro- ductive given the appropriate capital-labor mix. 18 Plants also should not be smaller than 200 employees because a union can capitalize quickly on an issue in a smaller plant and because the plant population may be relatively homogeneous, enabling quicker and more nearly unanimous agreement among employees on whether to be represented. Differences also exist among and within industries. Industries with a large proportion of white-collar workers, such as finance, are less likely to be unionized. But within industries, some firms have not been orga- nized, while others are completely unionized. In construction, relatively new organizations remain nonunion by guaranteeing employment dur- ing usual layoff periods and by implementing human resource policies on an organizationwide basis. Newly incorporated, technically oriented industries also have had a relatively low level of unionization, even when they have been located in traditionally highly unionized areas. Some of this is probably due to employment security resulting from rapid growth and abundant alternative employment opportunities, while other aspects of resistance to organization may be related to progressive employee relations policies and practices. Further many of these firms locate manu- facturing facilities offshore, in lower-wage areas far from their technical facilities, or they outsource production.

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