The declining incidence of strikes in the United States has plummeted dramatically over the last fifty years. Workers perceive one arsenal that they reserve for the fiercest labour battles: strike. Yet, this arsenal may forever be unutilized or at least be kept to a minimum at the expense of risking termination. Nowadays, strikes are least resorted to by labour unions because it does not achieve the result that the workforce anticipates. Moreover, the federal government in the recent decades have shown lukewarm support towards workers' causes. It appears that management seemed to have the upper hand in the formulation of employment policies. Other factors can be attributed to its decline: poor government policies on labour, the precedence of the PATCO strike, the introduction of permanent replacement workers, automation and promotion. These shall be discussed consequentially in this paper.
[...] keep operating in a strike, more and more companies have been deploying a weapon they long shunned -hiring permanent replacements for workers who are on the picket lines (Kilborn 1990).” Peter Kilborn (1990) of The New York Times said that to keep operating in a strike, more and more companies have been deploying a weapon they long shunned -hiring permanent replacements for workers who are on the picket lines. He mentioned that the permanent replacements, often recruited from the ranks of the unemployed or from low-paid employees of other businesses, are a variation on the temporary substitutes vilified by trade unionists as ''scabs'' or ''strikebreakers'' but nevertheless regarded as a part of management's legitimate arsenal. [...]
[...] Conclusion The decline of strike incidents in the United States reflects a downhill on labour activism that hurt the workforce as well as little improvements in the way management has treated the employees over the decades. The decline in strike incidents reveals that political considerations went adverse to the employees, especially during the Reagan administration. Policies were formulated to discourage workers from using their greatest weapon to demand better terms of employment—the strike—yet the government has not provided any alternative for employees to secure better terms. [...]
[...] In response, many unions adopted a more conciliatory attitude, reducing the number of strikes to record lows in the 1980s and early 90s, and attempting to negotiate contracts providing job security for members. Unions have also placed greater emphasis on organizing drives for new members. Although unions have been very successful in organizing government employees, they have been less successful with recruiting office workers in the rapidly expanding services sector. Another problem is demographic: The fastest growing parts of the labour force (women, service industries, and college-educated employees) have traditionally been the most reluctant to organize. [...]
[...] By 1996 the number of strikes in the United States had reached its lowest level in 50 years; at the end of the decade, however, a tighter labour market and more aggressive union leadership led to a resurgence of strikes against such major companies as Northwest Airlines, General Motors, and United Parcel Service (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopaedia 2007). Decline in the Incidence of Strikes in the Last 30 Years An author named Josiah Lambert (2005) researched the cause of strike decline in the United States history. [...]
[...] This is an avenue where employees are given a voice to air their grievances to the company without the necessity of going to strike. With the decline of strike incidents throughout American history, one would say that more harm caused its decline than good. The federal government should improve its policies toward the workforce because they are the legs that the nation is standing on. Should they break it, the nation suffers. Bibliography Brecher, J. (2007). Whatever Happened to the Right to Strike? Retrieved March from Global Labour Strategies Web site: http://laborstrategies.blogs.com/global_labor_strategies/2007/04/whatever_ha ppen.html Greenhouse, S. (1996, January 29). Strikes at 50-Year Low. [...]
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