Union Certification Success Under Voting Versus Card-Check Procedures: Evidence from British Columbia, 1978-1998

Posted: 20 Jul 2004

See all articles by Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Abstract

The author estimates the impact of compulsory election laws on certification success using data on over 6,500 private sector certifications from British Columbia over the years 1978-98. A unique quasi-experimental design is used by exploiting two changes in the union recognition law: First, in 1984, the introduction of mandatory elections; and second, in 1993, the repeal of elections and their replacement by the original card-check procedure. The author also estimates the effectiveness of management opposition tactics across union recognition regimes. Success rates declined by an average of 19 percentage points during the voting regime, and then increased by about the same amount when card-checks were re-instituted. The results indicate that the mandatory election law can account for virtually the entire decline. In addition, the findings suggest that management opposition was twice as effective under elections as under card-checks.

Keywords: Card-check, unions, union certification, British Columbia

JEL Classification: J51

Suggested Citation

Riddell, Chris, Union Certification Success Under Voting Versus Card-Check Procedures: Evidence from British Columbia, 1978-1998. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 57, No. 4, pp. 493-517. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=566122

Chris Riddell (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z2
Canada

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