Bargaining laws and unionization in the local public sector

Zax, Jeffrey S.; Ichniowski, Casey
April 1990
ILR Review;Apr90, Vol. 43 Issue 4, p447
Academic Journal
This paper analyzes the effects of bargaining law characteristics on rates of unionization in over 10,000 local government departments, representing five different government services, that were without bargaining units in 1977. Duty-to-bargain laws significantly increased the probability of bargaining union formation between 1977 and 1982. The results of the analysis reject the hypotheses that this effect reflects only underlying union strength, the release of pent-up demand for unionization, or the transformation of nonbargaining unions into bargaining unions. The changes in unionization attributable to duty-to-bargain laws are so large that they account for nearly all of the differences in average unionization rates between states with and without these laws.


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