Developments in Collective Bargaining in Construction in the 1980s and 1990s
NBER Working Paper No. 4674
This paper summarizes important developments in collective bargaining in the construction industry in the 1980s and 1990s. Workers in the industry have experienced high unemployment and a 17 percent drop in real wages. Union density has declined from 33 percent in 1981 to 22 percent in 1992, despite a sizable drop in the union-nonunion differential in wages and a tremendous reduction in the number of strikes. The main reasons for the decline in union strength are the adoption of strategies by contractors and owners to control labor costs and changes in the interpretation of labor laws that have given contractors more flexibility in determining their collective bargaining status.
Published: Paula B. Voos, ed. Contemporary Collective Bargaining in the Private Sector Madison, WI: Industrial Relations Research Association, 1994, pp. 411-445