Year of Award
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
College of Business & Professional Studies
organizing, barganing, productivitiy
There is abundant evidence of a significant and widening gap in union growth rates in the United States and Canada, as measured in union density, i.e., the percentage of the work force in unions, as well as in aggregate union membership. The principal factor appears to be differences in public policy, with the United States requiring protracted elections conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) to determine employees' support for unions, and Canadian jurisdictions relying primarily on membership card counts or expected elections. Senator Paul Simon (D-IL) has proposed an amendment to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act) that would be modeled after Canadian law.
Secret ballot elections and a restrictive zone are necessary in order to prevent voter intimidation in election fraud. The link between ballot secrecy and some restrictive zone surrounding the voting area is not merely timing, it's common sense. The only way to preserve the secrecy of the ballot is to limit access to the area around the voter.
In contrast to such a procedure, reliance upon union authorization cards does not provide protection against voter intimidation or election fraud. If the true preferences of employees are important enough to determine, they're important enough to determine accurately.
Part I of this thesis analyzes the history of the current NLRA. Part II reviews the proposal of Senator Paul Simon. Part III gives a proponent's perspective on the reasons for passage of the amendment. Part IV argues that the amendment violates the rights of an employee's freedom of choice. Part V is a case analysis of a NLRB hearing that focused on the validity of signature cards used for voluntary recognition. Part VI states the suggested course of action for this legislation.
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Dahlen, Barbara Ann, "Labor Union Membership Through Election or Signature Cards? A Change in the National Labor Relations Act" (1994). Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects. 242.
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