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

By Marick F. Masters | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
Strategic Union Resource Allocations

A fundamentally strategic issue facing major U.S.-based unions is how they might mobilize and allocate human, financial, and political capital-- amid a declining membership--in order to launch an unparalleled organizing effort to reverse a four-decade-long drop in aggregate union density that has involved extremely steep declines among several major unions. The need for such a commitment, which evidently is gaining wide acceptance on a tangible scale in the labor movement among both leaders and rank and file, is dictated by unfavorable structural economic forces, increased employer resolve and sophistication in opposing unions, political and public-policy barriers, and the low organizational priority unions have evidently given to organizing for much of the time since their halcyon years of the 1950s. Unions made such a massive effort in the 1930s, when faced with profoundly destabilizing economic and political challenges. They mobilized workers at the grassroots and displayed a willingness to use bold militant tactics. They also, as previously shown, spent relatively large sums of money to initiate and support organizing. Furthermore, unions also activated workers on the political front, forging deep ties with the Democratic party (especially within the metropolitan areas of the Midwest and Northeast) that they cemented in substantial measure with cash and in-kind campaign assistance ( Greenstone 1977).

Unions cannot be expected to make strategic realignments of organizational priorities and resource allocations either rashly or blindly. As Voos

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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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