Reconstructing Construction Unionism: Beyond Top Down and Bottom Up

20 Pages Posted: 22 May 2008  

Dale Belman

Michigan State University

Allen Smith

University of Reading - Innovative Construction Research

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

The decline of the U.S. labor movement is an often told tale. The stabilization and slow improvement of the position of the building trades, the labor movement in the construction sector, is less well known. Membership fell from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s, from 1.6 million in 1977 to 906,000 1992. Membership rose to 1.305 million in 2001 during a construction boom, declined as low as 1.110 million and, as a new boom in commercial and industrial construction commences, has risen to 1.232 million in 2007. Given current projections for energy, petrochemical, and public works construction, and the consequent demand for trades workers, construction union membership will be constrained mostly by their ability to bring new workers into their apprenticeship programs over the next four years.

Suggested Citation

Belman, Dale and Smith, Allen, Reconstructing Construction Unionism: Beyond Top Down and Bottom Up (2008). 2008 Industry Studies Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1135682 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1135682

Dale Belman (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

School of Labor and Industrial Relations
4th Floor, South Kedzie Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1032
United States
517-353-3905 (Phone)

Allen Smith

University of Reading - Innovative Construction Research ( email )

United Kingdom

Paper statistics

Downloads
86
Rank
239,144
Abstract Views
716