Unions at the Crossroads: Strategic Membership, Financial, and Political Perspectives

By Marick F. Masters | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
The Financial Capital of Unions

This chapter examines the general question of how much financial capital the twenty-eight major U.S.-based national unions have had. More specifically, it examines the unions' aggregate assets and wealth during the 1979-1993 period. In addition, it dissects the unions' assets, showing the percentage held in various categories which are more or less distinguishable in terms of their liquidity (i.e., convertibility to cash). The chapter also compares assets and wealth held by individual unions to show the extent to which there is variation on these financial dimensions and to explore how unions have fared over time. Comparisons are made not only in terms of total assets and wealth but also on a per-member basis. Finally, the degree to which assets and wealth are concentrated among a few of the major unions is examined.


UNIONS' AGGREGATE ASSETS AND WEALTH

Table 4.1 reports the twenty-eight unions' aggregate total assets and wealth during the 1979-1993 period and their aggregate per-member assets and wealth. Their assets exhibited a somewhat bell-shaped curve during the fifteen years, rising, albeit unevenly, from $2.3 billion in 1979 to a peak of $2.6 billion in 1984 and then falling to slightly above $2.2 billion in 1993. Interestingly, the unions' assets grew most when their membership losses were heaviest. While the unions' ranks shrank by more than one million in number, or nearly 7 percent, between 1979 and 1984, their

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Unions at the Crossroads: Strategic Membership, Financial, and Political Perspectives
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 18
  • Chapter One - Strategic Perspectives on Union Resources: Human, Financial, and Political Capital 21
  • Notes 40
  • Chapter 2 Union Density and Membership 43
  • Notes 60
  • Chapter 3 Major Union Membership Trends 63
  • Notes 71
  • Chapter 4 The Financial Capital of Unions 73
  • Notes 87
  • Chapter 5 How Unions Raise and Spend Money 89
  • Notes 106
  • Chapter 6 The Financial Performance of Unions 107
  • Notes 115
  • Chapter 7 Union Political Capital and the Legal Enactment Strategy 117
  • Notes 131
  • Chapter 8 Union Profiles 133
  • Chapter 9 Baseline Union Budgets: Implications for Representational Services and Bargaining Clout 141
  • Notes 155
  • Chapter 10 Strategic Union Resource Allocations 157
  • Notes 171
  • Chapter 11 Union Growth Scenarios and Mergers 173
  • Notes 183
  • Chapter 12 Strategies for Union Growth 185
  • Notes 201
  • Chapter 13 The Future of U.S. Unions 203
  • Bibliography 209
  • Index 227
  • About the Author 231
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