Union Organizing and Membership Growth: Why Don’t They Organize?

TitleUnion Organizing and Membership Growth: Why Don’t They Organize?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsFiorito, Jack, and Jarley, Paul
JournalJournal of Labor Research
Volume33
Issue4
Pagination461 - 486
Keywordsmembership, organizing, union membership, union organizing, unions
Abstract

This study analyzes U.S. union organizing activity and membership growth from 1990 to 2004, a period in which an overall pattern of union decline continued and in which organizing achieved renewed prominence as both a union policy and public policy issue. Models for organizing activity and membership growth were proposed and tested. Union decentralization and employer opposition were found to be key predictors of organizing activity differences among unions. These same factors, along with organizing activity, helped explain union differences in membership growth, as did a “Sweeney era” effect.