The Labor & Employment Blog is a forum for practitioners and Bloomberg BNA editors to share ideas, raise issues, and network with colleagues.
June 14, 2013
by Robert Combs
I recently suggested that the long-established gap between the wages earned by union workers and those earned by nonunion workers may be narrowing a bit. BLS has just released a report indicating that the gap in benefits, on the other hand, is showing no such sign of diminishing.
May 30, 2013
A new Bloomberg BNA special report, Collective Bargaining in the Health Care Industry, has just been released. As I edited the report I found a lot of interesting facts. Here are some of my favorites.
May 16, 2013
The gradual, decades-old decline in the ranks of union workers is typically discussed in terms of attrition. But what about the more overt and abrupt act of decertification? How often does a unit of already-unionized workers actually decide to say goodbye to their union—and is it happening more often now than in the past?
April 30, 2013
One of the most basic maxims in labor relations is that union members earn more than nonunion members. That was true again in 2012. But within that fact are some interesting exceptions and trends that are worth examining more closely.
April 15, 2013
Bloomberg BNA has polled 110 employers whose contracts are set to expire this year, asking them about their plans and expectations for their upcoming negotiations. Here are some highlights.
March 12, 2013
The AFL-CIO has reported that 25 affiliate unions lost members in 2012, while 16 gained members. Are there any affiliates that have never had so much as a dip in their membership in almost 60 years? Actually, there are three.
March 1, 2013
Arbitration issues have been in the news this week, so let's answer the question of how long a labor arbitration typically takes, from grievance to arbitration award.
February 6, 2013
New data from 2012 contracts suggest that union employers have finally started loosening their purse strings during wage negotiations. What’s more, big bargaining units appear to be on the leading edge of this upward trend.
January 24, 2013
The best way to sum up the latest trends in deferred wage
increases is to quote Yogi Berra: The future ain’t what it used to be.
January 10, 2013
Unlike last year, when settlements covering more than 10,000 workers were being negotiated in what seemed like every industry, most of the large contracts expiring in 2013 are confined to three types of workplaces.
December 20, 2012
In the wake of Michigan’s addition to the ranks of right-to-work states, we ask: Can right-to-work’s effect be seen in how much union and nonunion workers earn in a given state?
December 14, 2012
Michigan has become the 24th “right-to-work”
state in the union, making it the most heavily unionized state—by far—to enact
such a law. How does a state’s union situation change after a decade of right-to-work?
November 28, 2012
In my last post, I identified some unions and employers that have been enjoying a successful year in the organizing arena. But, for every winner, there is a loser. Here is a list of parties that have not fared as well.
November 19, 2012
Hope you’re not too tired of election talk, because our semiannual report on NLRB election statistics is almost here. And I've noticed that some unions and employers have been enjoying a very good year so far.
November 8, 2012
As the lockout rate for 2012 continues to climb, I thought I should expand on two claims that I referred to in my previous post: first, that lockouts tend to affect more workers than strikes; and second, that lockouts tend to be longer than strikes.
October 17, 2012
The huge plunge in union membership over the past two decades has meant a huge plunge in union-initiated strikes. Yet it hasn’t meant a huge plunge in employer-initiated lockouts. That’s interesting. Newsworthy, even.
October 4, 2012
Manufacturing-industry unions and employers are negotiating wage increases larger than anything we’ve seen since the recession. Employees covered under these contracts are receiving pay hikes that are double what they were receiving at this time last year.
September 27, 2012
Work stoppages—as any pro football fan will tell you right now—have a way of dragging on and on. Today, I’ll evaluate 10 major unions based on the length of their work stoppages. Which unions have the most staying power during a labor dispute? Let’s find out.
September 12, 2012
A new Bloomberg BNA special report, Union Organizing in the Health Care Industry, has just been released. As I was editing the report, I found a lot of interesting facts. Here are some of my favorites.
August 22, 2012
With the political convention season upon us, I decided to browse through some of Bloomberg BNA’s reports, databases, and news articles to compare the labor situations in the two host states, Florida and North Carolina.
August 8, 2012
In April, I analyzed contracts from the past six years that called for either a net wage decrease or, at the least, no wage increases over term. I found an explosion in the use of these "zero-or-below" contracts since 2008, and wondered whether it represented a long-term trend or just a temporary phenomenon. At a reader's request, I'm checking to see if the figures from 2012, so far, are pointing toward either conclusion.
July 25, 2012
As the scope of Houston’s janitors’ strike extends to other cities nationwide, let’s take a look at how SEIU compares with other major unions when it comes to the number of employees involved per work stoppage.
July 11, 2012
Employers aren't the only ones that get hit with unfair labor practice charges. Unions also can be a target. Sometimes, these charges come from the employer. But most ULP charges leveled against unions come from a source that might surprise you: the unions’ own members.
June 13, 2012
In the six years since breaking away from the AFL-CIO, how has Change to Win stacked up in the race to organize workers? Representation statistics from the National Labor Relations Board tell a rather balanced story.
June 7, 2012
In my last post, I analyzed statistics from the 2012 edition of Bloomberg BNA’s Union Membership and Earnings Data Book to find the state with the largest percentage of union members among its population. This time, using the same source, I’m looking for the city that holds the same distinction. Which of the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas has the greatest union density?
May 17, 2012
The 2012 edition of Bloomberg BNA’s Union Membership and Earnings Data Book has been published, and it has the latest breakdowns of U.S. Census data on union density rates—the percentage of a...
May 3, 2012
Three factors in the collective bargaining atmosphere have created a kind of “perfect storm” that kept wage increases at levels lower than we’ve ever seen in 2011, and perhaps lower than we’ll see again for some time.
April 18, 2012
How drastically did employers put the brakes on first-year wage increases last year? Consider this: Among the nearly 1,000 contracts we added to our database for 2011, 41 percent called for a first-year wage freeze, up from 7 percent just three years earlier.
April 11, 2012
In the three years since the 2008 financial collapse, there were 395 contracts calling for wage changes of zero percent or lower. That’s more than 10 times as many contracts as there were in the three years leading up to it.
March 21, 2012
In an analysis of manufacturing industry contracts over the past decade, I found a decisive trend away from new hire friendly pay practices and toward practices that stagger the compensation structure and limit new employees’ ability to earn as much as their co-workers.
March 8, 2012
When Bloomberg BNA published its annual report on negotiated first-year wage increases earlier this year, I received several calls from subscribers questioning our high figures for lump-sum payments. One even suggested that we had made a mistake. There’s no way, she said, that manufacturers in 2011 were paying out so much money up front. I assured her that the numbers were indeed accurate, but added that they didn’t tell the entire story.
February 22, 2012
In a recent blog post about the high rate of lockouts in 2011, I mentioned that it was a very quiet year for labor unrest overall, with fewer work stoppages (strikes plus lockouts) than last year. Since then, however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced that there were almost twice as many major work stoppages last year as there were in 2010. So, is there a discrepancy here?
January 25, 2012
This week’s New York Times front-page story on lockouts used Bloomberg BNA’s labor data to make its point—that, more than ever, employers are locking out workers to put pressure on unions during contract negotiations. I crunched the numbers for the reporter in this story, and I must say I was surprised to find that employers were much more likely to lock out workers in 2011 than in any other year since we started keeping track of work stoppages two decades ago.
January 11, 2012
It looks like 2012 will be a busy year for negotiators. BNA’s Calendar of Negotiations tracks the major contract expirations that are coming up in the months ahead. The year-end version suggests that there are some interesting developments on the horizon.
January 4, 2012
by Victoria Roberts
This week, we published our 2012 Economic Outlook, which finds an economy inching toward recovery. The forecast of the 26 economists at 21 leading financial, consulting, and academic organizations across the United States calls for a small uptick in the jobless rate, as more Americans re-enter the job market to look for work. Wage gains, meanwhile, will remain small.Meanwhile President Obama today announced his intent to recess appoint Sharon Block (D), Terence F. Flynn (R), and Richard Griffin (D) as members of the National Labor Relations Board. As of yesterday, the board had dropped to two members following the expiration of Member Craig Becker's recess appointment. Obama's move tests his authority to bypass the Senate, as Senate Republicans have been holding pro forma sessions during the congressional break in order to head off any recess appointments. Following the president's announcement, Republicans jeered and Democrats cheered, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce denounced the action, and AFL-CIO commended it.
December 2, 2011
Labor Stats and Facts: Seven Surprising Facts About Health Care Bargaining
EEO Roundup: EEOC Nomination, House Testimony
Public Sector Roundup: OPM Issues `Phased Retirement' Proposal to Allow Part-Time Work for Future Federal Retirees
Public Sector Roundup: Legislation to Require OPM to Track Union 'Official Time' Approved by House Panel
Labor Stats and Facts: Union Workers' Benefits Don't Outpace Nonunion Benefits; They Lap Them