The Transition from Formal Nonunion Representation to Unionization: A Contemporary Case
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AbstractThe authors examine three phases in the unionization process among Imperial Oil Limited employees in Canada who, in 1993, decided to withdraw from a long-standing nonunion employee representation plan: the conditions leading to the propensity to unionize; the transformation into a bargaining unit; and post-certification behaviors and practices. The unionization process in this case study differed from that suggested by literature based on unionization among workers without a previous history of collective representation. In the pre-campaign phase, workers experienced a significant loss of perceived power due to changes in company practices and managerial style. Elected worker delegates to the nonunion representation plan spearheaded the union campaign. The union organizing phase allowed the company multiple opportunities for redress without unionization. Subsequent union attachment was diminished by continuing loyalty to aspects of the old system.
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