Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Admission Criteria; Adult Education; Educational Objectives; Educational Research; Industrial Training; Labor Education; Prior Learning; Program Content; Trainers; Unions; Member Union Relationship; Shop Stewards.

Green, F., Machin, S., & Wilkinson, D. (1999). Trade unions and training practices in British workplaces. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 52(2), 179-195.


British labor-force survey data indicated that the probability of receiving training and the amount of training received were substantially higher in unionized workplaces.
KEY WORDS: Employment Practices; Foreign Countries; On-the-Job Training; Unions.

Grossfeld, J., & Podesta, J. D. (2005). A temporary fix. The American Prospect [Princeton], 16(3), 15-17.


The White House and congressional conservatives has decided to make the approaching four years memorable, and it is easy to miss some of their less conspicuous exploits. Many of those have taken place at the National Labor Relations Board, which has issued multiple decisions that are costing millions of Americans their best chance to join the middle class. A fast growing contingent workforce could benefit from labor and management partnerships, but the NLRB stands in the way.
KEY WORDS: Workforce; Labor Relations; Temporary Employment; Labor Unions; United States; US; National Labor Relations Board; NLRB.

Heery, E., Conley, H., Delbridge, R., & Stewart, P. (2004). Beyond the enterprise: trade union representation of freelances in the UK. Human Resource Management Journal [London], 14(2), 20-35.


A growing interest in methods that trade unions can use to organize and represent the substantial proportion of the workforce engaged in "contingent work." Examined are trade union representation of self-employed freelances in the UK. Empirical material is given from case studies of the media and entertainment unions, with their long history of representing freelances, and more recently established unions representing freelance tour guides, interpreters, and translators. Analysis suggest that there is a distinctive form of freelance unionism in the UK which is distinguished by organizing and representing workers in the external labour market where they seek work and develop a mobile career. This orientation "beyond the enterprise" distinguishes freelance unionism from the dominant form of unionism in Britain.
KEY WORDS: Entertainment Industry; Freelance; Labor Unions; Studies; Recreation; Western Europe; Experimental/Theoretical; Labor Relations; United Kingdom.

Howard, S. (2007). Restructuring teachers' work and trade union responses in England: Bargaining for change? American Educational Research Journal, 44(2), 224-251.


A key feature of current school-sector reform in England is the restructuring of teachers' work and the increased use of support staff to undertake a range of activities previously undertaken by teachers. Supporters speak of a new teacher professionalism focused on the "core task" of teaching. Critics fear deprofessionalization through a process of deskilling, work intensification, and labor substitution. This article uses labor process theory and empirical data to analyze recent developments in teachers' work and links these to the different ways in which teacher trade unions have bargained over reform. The article argues that workforce reform cannot be analyzed separately from the trade union strategies that seek to influence policy and that the emergence of a type of "reform unionism" in England represents the integration of product and process in policy.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Foreign Countries; Collective Bargaining; Labor Legislation; Teaching; Faculty Workload; Labor Relations; Labor Economics; Organizational Change; Organizational Development.

Huzzard, T., Gregory, D., & Scott, R. (Eds.). (2004). Strategic unionism and partnership. Boxing or dancing? Oxford: Oxford University Press.


How can trade unions make sense of social partnership? What are the implications of partnership for union renewal? This volume takes an international perspective to explore these issues based on an ongoing dialogue between researchers and union practitioners in eight countries. The authors develop the metaphors 'boxing' and 'dancing' to denote contrasting strategic choices to the employment relationship, yet argue that neither approach alone can offer an exclusive trajectory for union development. The authors conclude by identifying lessons for union renewal.
KEY WORDS: Unionization; Labour Economics; Industrial Relations.

Hyman, R. (2002). The future of unions. Just Labour, 1, 7-15.


For twenty years now, it has been common to refer to a crisis of trade unionism. What the future holds for labour movements – or indeed, whether they even have a future – seems increasingly uncertain. For many trade unionists as well as academics, unions in most countries appear as victims of external forces outside their control, and often also of their own conservative inertia. However, unions hold the capacity to shape their own future. In all countries, they possess powerful traditions and inherited structures; these all too frequently constitute a straitjacket, but can also provide a resource for creative initiative.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Labour; Globalization.
Jarley, P., Harley, B., & Hall, R. (2002). Innovation in Australian trade unions. Industrial Relations, 41(2), 228-248.
Building on the study of innovation in American national unions, this article specifies & tests a model of the determinants of innovation in Australian trade unions. The results generally support the principal Delaney, Jarley, & Fiorito (1996) finding that the degree of union innovative activity is positively associated with rationalization & size - an indicator of resource availability. Several contrasts between the Australian & American findings are also noted & discussed.
KEY WORDS: Innovations; Unions; Australia; United States of America; Rationalization; Organization Size.

Jarosz, F. (2006). Union, contractors and CTE. Connecting Education and Careers, 81(6), 30-33.


Across Illinois, in places where unions thrive, construction industry professionals and career and technical education (CTE) teachers are working together in promoting work-based learning program to students. Likewise, the outreach program provides union-supported contractors with qualified candidates for future employment. Programs such as the school-to-apprenticeship program and the career fair Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP) promotes aim to spark interest in apprenticeships before students graduate from high school and at the same time, students have the opportunity to earn union wages at union jobsites during the summer of their junior year. However, while pre-apprenticeship programs gain momentum each year, those who run them say there is still progress to be made. The programs are stepping up efforts to attract women and minorities, who remain scarce in the industry.
KEY WORDS: Learning and labour; Technical Education; Outreach Programs; Unions; Construction Industry; Education Work Relationship; High School Students; Apprenticeships; Minority Groups; Females.
Jones, C. (2006). Union learning representatives: The role of trade unions in workplace learning. RCM Midwives Journal, 9(8), 299.
This article evaluates the concept of union-led learning in the workplace and the introduction of a Union learning representatives role at the Royal College of Midwives. Unionlearn, under the auspices of the Trades Union Congress, works with trade unions to support union-led learning activity. The role played by union learning representatives (ULRs), created by the Employment Act 2002, is pivotal in this work. ULRs function as 'signposters' in the workplace, for colleagues who are interested in taking up lifelong learning opportunities or who need to develop their skills to take part in work-related or professional training. Trade unions are uniquely placed to help members and colleagues engage in learning - they are trusted by the membership, already represent their interests and have a proven ability to negotiate with employers.
KEY WORDS: Unions and Learning; Union Learning Representatives; Trades Union Congress.

Kerchner, C. T., Koppich, J. E., & Weeres, J. G. (1998). Taking charge of quality. How teachers and unions can revitalize schools. An introduction and companion to "United mind workers". California: Jossey-Bass.


This book suggests that teachers and teacher unions should take the lead in making changes to promote educational quality and prepare students for the 21st century, where knowledge rather than industry will be the organizing principle. Part 1, "A Call to Action," describes how American society is changing and how these shifts necessitate the transformation of American education. It discusses educational challenges and what teachers and unions can do to deal with the challenges. Part 2, "A Commitment to Quality," explores the role that teachers and unions must take in bringing about educational change, discussing how to improve the craft of teaching, upgrade educational standards, and evaluate the work of peers. Part 3, "Organizing Around Transforming Schools," lays out a proposal for how unions can organize around a primary commitment to improving education. It discusses new contracting strategies, hiring and rewarding teachers, creating more career flexibility for teachers, and what teachers can do now to begin the process of change.
KEY WORDS: Change Strategies; Educational Change; Educational Improvement; Educational Quality; Elementary Secondary Education; Peer Evaluation; Public Education; Standards; Teacher Associations; Teacher Competencies; Teacher Evaluation; Teacher Role; Teachers; Unions.

Lawrence, M., & Walters, M. (2003). How unions help all workers. Briefing Paper 143. Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute.


Unions have a substantial impact on the compensation and work lives of both unionized and nonunionized workers. This report presents current data on unions’ effect on wages, fringe benefits, total compensation, pay inequality, and workplace protections.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Compensations; Work Lives; Unionized Workers; Nonunionized Workers; Wages; Fringe Benefits; Pay Inequality; Workplace Protections.

Livingstone, D. W., & Raykov, M. (2008). Workers' Power and Intentional Learning among Non-managerial Workers: A 2004 Benchmark Survey. Relations industrielles/Industrial Relations (RI/IR), 63(1), 30-56, 160-161.


This paper explores relations of workers' power, in terms of unionization and delegated workplace authority, with incidence of participation in adult education and job-related informal learning activities. Empirical analysis is based primarily on the first Canadian survey to document both aspects of workers' power and both formal and informal learning. Prior inconsistent research on unionization and adult education is critically reviewed. The current study focuses on non-managerial employees between 25 and 64. The findings of this 2004 survey, as well as secondary analysis of other relevant surveys, confirm that union membership is consistently positively related to both participation in adult education and some informal learning topics. Delegated workplace authority also has positive effects on both adult education and some informal learning topics. While delegated workplace authority is not related to unionization, their positive effects on workers' intentional learning are additive. Implications of these findings for further research and optimizing workplace learning are discussed.
KEY WORDS: Studies; Unionization; Delegation of Authority; Adult Education; Organizational Learning; Decision Making; Union Membership.

Menezes-Filho, N. A., & Van Reenen, J. (2003). Unions and innovation: A survey of the theory and empirical evidence. London: Centre for Economic Policy Research.


This paper surveys the economic literature on the impact of trade unions on innovation. There are many theoretical routes through which unions may have an effect on innovation, for example through their effects on relative factor prices, profitability and their attitudes towards the introduction of new technology. Recent theoretical work has focused on the possibility that trade unions will ‘hold up’ firms by expropriating sunk R&D (research and development) investments through demanding higher rewards. The hold up problem may be mitigated (or exacerbated) by strategic incentives to compete in R&D races. In an attempt to resolve the theoretical ambiguity we focus on surveying recent micro-econometric results in the areas of R&D, innovation, technological diffusion and productivity growth. North American results find consistently strong and negative impacts of unions on R&D. By contrast, European studies (mainly in the UK) generally do not uncover negative effects of unions on R&D. There is no consensus of the effects of unions on our other main measures: technological diffusion, innovation or productivity growth even in the North American studies. These cross-country differences in the R&D impact of unions could represent either unsolved econometric problems or genuine institutional differences between nations in union attitudes and ability to bargain. We suspect the latter is the main reason.
KEY WORDS: Labor unions; Technological Innovations; Research; Industrial Relations.

Milkman, R., & Voss, K. (Eds.). (2004). Rebuilding labor: Organizing and organizers in the new union movement. Ithaca: ILR Press.


In order to recruit new members on a scale that would be required to significantly rebuild union power, unions must fundamentally alter their internal organizational practices. This means creating more organizer positions on the staff; developing programs to teach current members how to handle the tasks involved in resolving shop-floor grievances; and building programs that train members to participate fully in the work of external organizing. Such a reorientation entails redefining the very meaning of union membership from a relatively passive stance toward one of continuous active engagement.
KEY WORDS: Sociology; Labor Industrial; Labor Relations.

Payne, J. (2001). Lifelong learning: A national trade union strategy in a global economy. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 20(5), 378-392.


Addresses the concepts of modernization and risk society in relation to trade unions. Discusses the role of unions in education and training. Argues the need for a coherent union strategy regarding education and places the discussion within the context of globalization.
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Labor Education; Lifelong Learning; Modernization; Unions; Global Economy; United Kingdom.

Payne, J. (2001). What do trade unions want from lifelong learning? Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 6(3), 355-373.


Analysis of British government, employer, and union policies on lifelong learning reveals different emphases. A case study of a union-sponsored workplace basic skills program illustrates the competing agendas of competitiveness, equality, and union organizing. The role of further research to influence policy and practice was emphasized.
KEY WORDS: Basic Skills; Foreign Countries; Labor Education; Labor Relations; Lifelong Learning; Public Policy; Unions; United Kingdom.

Payne, J. (2006). The Norwegian competence reform and the limits of lifelong learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 25, 447-505.


Today, "lifelong learning for all" figures prominently within the education and training policies of governments throughout the developed world and is presented as a powerful solution to a wide range of economic and social challenges. Norway is often regarded as a country that has perhaps made more progress towards this ideal than many others. Norway invests considerable resources in its education system and has already achieved a highly educated population by international standards. Its experience may be instructive therefore of the problems that more advanced countries confront in attempting to further progress the lifelong learning agenda even under relatively favourable conditions. Drawing upon a range of secondary material and interviews conducted with key stakeholders, this paper explores the main achievements, problems and challenges that Norway has faced in attempting to implement a recent reform of adult and continuing education and training, entitled the Competence Reform. To date, the reform would seem to have had only a relatively limited impact especially with regard to low-qualified workers in sectors with poor training records and relatively high concentrations of "learning-deprived" jobs.
KEY WORDS: Unions and Learning; Foreign Countries; Lifelong Learning; Participation; Adult Education; Skill Development; Educational Policy; Job Skills; Human Capital; Unions; Politics of Education; Prior Learning; Education Work Relationship.
Probert, B., Ewer, P., & Whiting, K. (2000). Work versus life: Union strategies reconsidered. Labour & Industry, 11(1), 23-47.
The findings of two major research projects examining the tensions between employees' lives at and outside of work are discussed. Both studies were based on large scale survey data and focus group discussions in finance and education sectors. In spite of improved flexible working provisions and policies in both industries, balancing work and family is becoming more difficult. Work intensification, restructure and pressure to work longer hours combined with uncooperative management attitudes towards employee use of entitlements, even when good provisions exist, exacerbate the difficulties. Employee ignorance of entitlements also exists. Strategies to combat these problems, such as legislative action to provide for citizenship rights, are canvassed.
KEY WORDS: Finance Sector Union; Australian Education; Union; Work; Life; Flexible Entitlements; Paid Maternity Leave; Family Leave; Part-Time Work; Job-Sharing; Working Day; Working Hours; Work Intensification.

Rose, J. B., & Chaison, G. N. (2001). Unionism in Canada and the United States in the 21st century: The prospects for revival. Relations industrielles/Industrial Relations, 56(1), 34-65.


Based on a review & comparison of recent developments in organizing, collective bargaining, & political action, this paper considers the potential for union revival in Canada & the US. Although unions have devoted considerable energy & resources to new initiatives, the overall evidence leads us to generally pessimistic conclusions. The level & direction of union density rates indicates the two labor movements lack the institutional frameworks & public policies to achieve sustained revival. Significant gains in union membership & density levels will require nothing less than a paradigm shift in the industrial relations systems: a broadening of the scope & depth of membership recruitment, workplace representation, & political activities.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Labor Movements; United States of America; Unionization; Collective Bargaining; Political Action; Canada.

Rubinstein, S. A., & Kochan, T. A. (2001). Learning from Saturn: Possibilities for corporate governance and employee relations. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.


The last two decades of the twentieth century were a tumultuous time of innovation for business and labor. Perhaps the boldest and most far-reaching experiment in industry was the creation of the Saturn Corporation. Working together as partners, the UAW and General Motors built a new small car in Spring Hill, Tennessee, with American suppliers and American workers. Saturn's locally designed manufacturing system featured self-directed teams and the integration of union representatives into management's strategic and operational decision-making processes. Saul A. Rubinstein and Thomas A. Kochan have followed the Saturn story since its beginning in 1983. Through surveys as well as hundreds of interviews with company managers, union representatives, and employees, and with leaders of GM and the UAW, they trace the history of, and the lessons to be learned from, this ""Different Kind of Company."" The Saturn experiment embodied a new concept of labor-management relations, management, and organizational governance. Has it been a success or a failure? Is it relevant in the current industrial environment? What effect has it had on GM and the UAW? The authors resist overly simplistic conclusions; Saturn's strengths and limitations must be fairly assessed before the company's experience can provide lessons on the future of unions, labor-management relations, work organization, and corporate governance.
KEY WORDS: Saturn Corporation; Automobile industry; Trade Unions; United States; Management; Employee participation; International Union; United Automobile Workers of America (CIO); Economics & Finance; Industrial and Labor Relations; Business Management; Human Resources.

Salt, B. (2000). Factors enabling and constraining worker education programs' responses to neo-liberal globalisation. Studies in Continuing Education, 22(1), 115-144.


Analysis of 18 worker education programs in several countries found that constraints of neoliberal globalization (funding, university-union relations, lack of grassroots outreach) outweigh enablers (commitment, technology, political changes, increased consciousness). Although constraints hamper union challenges to transnational corporations, the potential for a golden age of worker education exists.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Corporations; Foreign Countries; Labor Education; Unions; Globalization; Neoliberalism.
Salt, B., Cervero, R. M., & Herod, A. (2000). Workers' education and neoliberal globalization: An adequate response to transnational corporations? Adult Education Quarterly, 51(1), 9-31.
Analysis of 10 worker education programs indicated that their responses to globalization ranged from accommodation to transformative learning. There was no consensus on whose interests were served by globalization. Some programs promoted international solidarity, which can challenge the dominance of neoliberalism. The disunified provision of worker education hampers this effort.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Course Content; Foreign Countries; Labor Education; Unions; Globalization; Multinational Corporations; Neoliberalism.

Sawchuk, P. H. (2001). Trade union-based workplace learning: A case study in workplace reorganization and worker knowledge production. Journal of Workplace Learning, 13(7-8), 344-351.


A case study of Canada's telecommunications industry found the union engaged in education and research that helped build the potential for workplace democracy. However, scarce resources for these activities and management concerns about worker empowerment constrained progressive change.
KEY WORDS: Democracy; Foreign Countries; Labor Education; Labor Relations; Organizational Change; Telecommunications; Unions; Workplace Learning.

Sawchuk, P. H. (2001). Online learning for labour movement activists. NALL Working Paper No. 46. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: www.nall.ca.


A study explored informal learning in relation to online communications and working class people's use of computers as a socially situated practice rooted in collective, communal relationships. It drew on analysis of online learning workshop participation in specially initiated sessions among Canadian labor activist/educators. Findings were based on analysis of interview and survey data and content and interaction analysis of online postings. Survey data indicated participants had computer literacy levels exceeding those of the general population; the majority had access to home and/or workplace computers for workshop participation; and communication with participants and non-participants beyond the formal structure of the workshop was crucial. Interviews showed a better understanding was needed of the dynamics of informal learning in virtual space; key barriers to online learning among activist/educators were resources, time, distance, and extensive reading and writing requirements; and a less obvious barrier concerned "communication literacy," a basic appreciation of the mechanics of interaction, turn-taking, and explicit framing and re-framing of the situation. Strong evidence suggested online learning could be a valuable addition to the labor movement's education/communication capacity, an important part of which revolved around recognition of informal learning, tacit dimensions of participation, broader context of participants' lives, and linkages between the online and offline worlds.

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