Labor Actions Decline
June 5, 1998
Whether because of the strong economy or the declining number of union workers, labor relations have improved, observers report. Consequently, a record low level of strike activity is anticipated this year.
- Last year, the number of walkouts involving 1,000 or more workers dropped to a record low of 29.
- Experts say that in decades past, 300 or more such strikes a year were common.
- Analysts point out that union members accounted for just 9.8 percent of private-sector workers last year -- compared with about 15 percent in 1983.
- But last year unions won 50.4 percent of organizing elections -- a slight increase from the previous year.
Observers say businesses have an incentive to settle contract discussions prior to a strike when business is good. Companies can afford to pay somewhat more and have a lot to lose if strikes shut down operations when sales are climbing.
Source: Laura M. Litvan, "Did U.P.S. Strike Spur Big Labor?" Investor's Business Daily, June 5, 1998.
Browse more articles on Economic Issues