When Do U.S. Workers First Experience Unionization? Implications for Revitalizing the Labor Movement

Source: John W. Budd, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Volume 49, Issue 2, April 2010
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From the abstract:
Debates over revitalizing the U.S. labor movement often overlook when workers are first unionized. This article analyzes the frequency and nature of workers’ first unionized jobs by tracking a cohort of individuals from age 15/16 to 40/41. Though workers are most likely to be unionized when they are in their forties, this article shows that surprising numbers of individuals first encounter unionization in their jobs at a much younger age. These results highlight the importance of experiential union membership models as well as life-cycle union representation strategies that recognize the young age at which many workers are first unionized.

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