Weber, Arnold R.
October 1959
Industrial & Labor Relations Review;Oct59, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p16
Academic Journal
The decline of rivalry among trade unions has been lately viewed by some observers as an important factor contributing both to a decline of vigor and to a toss of democracy in the American labor movement. Without aggressive competition in its jurisdiction, the international union may be overcome by lassitude in achieving its stated goals while the local unions and their members lack a major defense against the loss of local autonomy and an effective voice in the internal government of the union. In contrast, the traditional union view abhors interunion competition as destructive of solidarity and of efficiency in organization and collective bargaining. The findings of this study of rival unionism in the chemical industry, while not sufficient for broad generalizations about this problem, clearly demonstrate that the connection between competitive unionism and union vigor and democracy is not a simple one. The origins, character, and consequences of rivalry among the four major union groups in the chemical industry are described and analyzed in this effort to provide empirical evidence on the propositions outlined above.


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