The internal union political imperative for UAW pattern bargaining

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Like many industrial unions, the UAW places great emphasis on pattern-following contract settlements. However, research on the rationales for pattern bargaining has been scarce, and evidence testing these rationales has been absent. The usual rationale for pattern bargaining is to take wages out of competition. However, this paper presents evidence of important internal union political reasons for pattern bargaining. If intra-union wage comparisons cause union members to feel unfairly treated, elected leaders will be challenged. Thus, the UAW leadership pursues pattern bargaining to minimize political conflicts and maintain stability. Unless you know where you came from you don't have the sense of direction that will lead you to the goals you seek. Walter P. Reuther That word "solidarity" isn't rhetoric. For a union, it's everything. Bob White

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Labor Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1995


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