Cooperation, Conflict, or Coercion: Using Empirical Evidence to Assess Labor-Management Cooperation
Michigan Journal of International Law, Vol. 19 (873), 1998
Posted: 1 Aug 1998
Since the 1980's there has been strong interest in labor management cooperation. For example, each of the most recent congresses has introduced legislation designed to facilitate its widespread use. Arguments currently being made in support of labor-management cooperation include that global competition demands that adversarial workplace relations be replaced with cooperative ones; that employer and employee interests are joint and must therefore move beyond a narrow focus on increasing wages to promoting productivity and competitiveness; and that employers and employees will embrace a unionism based in cooperation and sited at the enterprise as opposed to oppositional multi-employer unionism. There are no social science laboratories in which to test these arguments, and even if we could assemble the control groups and replicability, they would be unable to capture the complex ways in which law interacts with society. An in-depth examination of a comparable country's experiences can, however, provide a laboratory in which the experiment has been run, permitting us to make more accurate predictions in this arena. This article examines predictions and claims advanced in support of a labor-management cooperation system in the context of foreign experience and concludes that some predictions have proven accurate while others, and indeed the most important contentions, have not.
Note: This is a description of the article and not the actual abstract.
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