The Impact of the Runaway Office on Union Certification Elections in Clerical Units
Beatrice J. Freiberg, William T. Dickens
NBER Working Paper No. 1693
The law prohibits firms from moving work to avoid unionization. Still, many employees fear that joining a union may cost them their jobs. This paper assesses the impact of that fear on how clerical workers vote in union certification elections. Two data sets were collected and analyzed for this purpose, and three measures of the firms' ability to relocate office work were developed. Clerical workers in offices that were judged to be easier to relocate were found to be more likely to report that the fear of job loss was important to their voting decision. Those who voted against the union were most likely to report that the fear that they would lose their jobs was a significant consideration. Further, workers in units judged to be most easily relocated were found to have a 7 to 30% lower probability of voting union than those who were in less mobile jobs.
Published: Frieberg, Beatrice J. and William T. Dickens. "The Impact of the Runaway Office on Union Certification Elections in Clerical Units," Industrial Relations Research Association Papers and Proceedings, 1987, pp. 29-40.