Decertification: Is the Current Trend a Threat to Collective Bargaining?

by William Fulmer

Fall 1981

Volume 24
Issue 1

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The article focuses threat to labor movement due to increase in decertification activity the U.S. With the dramatic increases have come expressions of concern about a possible threat to collective bargaining. Between 1970 and 1979 the number of decertification petitions filed each year with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the number of decertification elections conducted each year have increased by 134 percent and 158 percent, respectively. In 1947, as the U.S. Congress began the process of amending the Wagner Act, one of the issues that was addressed was decertification. The chief argument among supporters of a decertification provision was individual freedom. In 1948, the National Labor Relations Board acknowledged for the first time that it was now authorized by the 1947 amendments to entertain that negative type of representation proceeding, known as a decertification case. There is growing concern to the labor movement about the declining percentage of union victories in decertification elections.

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