Shopping for Voice: Do Pre-Existing Non-Union Representation Plans Matter When Employees Unionize?

TitleShopping for Voice: Do Pre-Existing Non-Union Representation Plans Matter When Employees Unionize?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsTimur, A. T., Taras, Daphne, and Ponak, Allen
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Volume50
Issue2
Pagination214 - 238
Keywordsnon-union, non-union employee representation plan, organizing, unionization
Abstract

The transition to unionization in three workplaces with pre-existing non-union employee representation plans (NERPs) is contrasted to three matched sites, which had only individual representation. Pre-existing collective voice arrangements had substantial effects on the process and outcomes of unionization. While the individual representation sites presented a conventional process of mobilization and attachment to the union, the NERP sites revealed a more equivocal outcome. The union was used in an instrumental manner to increase NERP power and to achieve worker demands already articulated by the NERP. NERP leaders became union leaders. There remained significant attachment to the NERP and a reluctance to fully embrace unionization.