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NEW: Clark Professor Examines Collective Bargaining in New Book

Friday, July 20, 2012


The ever-changing American workplace is the subject of Clark professor Gary N. Chaison's latest book "The New Collective Bargaining."

In the book, Chaison examines how the dwindling numbers in American labor unions have affected modern collective bargaining. A professor in Clark's Graduate School of Management, Chaison explains some of the important ways collective bargaining has changed over the past decade.

"Collective bargaining has been transformed in significant and lasting ways and that the implicit code of conduct between employers and unions has been eroded,” Chaison said. “The decline of bargaining is symptomatic of the loss of union influence in the workplace and in the economy."

With labor unions losing power, Chaison asserts that the past decade has been filled with ultra-concession bargaining. With that in mind, Chaison offers a grim prediction about the near future of union-employer relationships.

“The collective bargaining of the past decade can be characterized as ultra-concession bargaining because it is an intense and self-perpetuating deviation from earlier concession bargaining. Employers now act and unions react, rather than the other way around,” Chaison said. “Employers no longer have to establish a credible case of financial hardship, or commit to the traditional quid pro quo of saving jobs in return for lower labor costs, or guarantee singularity (that concession bargaining is a single event that will not have to be repeated).”

Chaison teaches courses in international labor relations, human resource management and union-management negotiations at Clark. He has published four books, his most recent being “Unions in America” (SAGE Publications 2006). Chaison has been quoted regularly by national and international media as a labor expert, and has been on the Clark faculty since 1981. 


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