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From the two faces of unionism to the Facebook society: union voice in a twenty-first-century context

Bryson, Alex and Gomez, Rafael and Willman, Paul (2008) From the two faces of unionism to the Facebook society: union voice in a twenty-first-century context. In: Eaton, Adrienne E., (ed.) Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Labor and Employment Relations Association, January 4-6, 2008, New Orleans, Louisiana. LERA, Champaign, IL, pp. 51-60. ISBN 9780913447963

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Abstract

Union membership has declined precipitously in the US over the past 40 years. Can anything be done to stem this decline? This paper argues that union voice is an attribute (among others) of union membership that is experiential in nature and that unlike the costs of unionisation, can be discerned only after joining a union. This makes the act of 'selling' unionism to workers (and to some extent firms as well) rather difficult. Supportive social trends and social customs are required in order to make union membership's many hard-to-observe benefits easier to discern. Most membership based institutions face the same dilemma. However, recent social networking organizations such as Facebook and other on-line communities have been rather successful in attracting millions of members in a relatively short period of time. The question of whether the union movement can appropriate some of these lessons is discussed with reference to historical and contemporary examples.

Item Type:Book Section
Research Community:University of Westminster > Policy Studies Institute (PSI)
ID Code:6778
Deposited On:06 May 2009 11:56
Last Modified:06 May 2009 12:19

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