Union Density: Canada vs. USA
Union density refers to the amount of paid employees that are union members. Historically, union density has increased between 1930 and 1950 from 14 percent to 30 percent. At that time union growth in Canada was extremely behind United States. This was caused by the legislation that was going on with workers and their rights to form and join unions. However it wasn't until the mid 1950s that Canadian union organizations caught up to the US. Despite this growth, the union density was yet on the verge of steady decline in both countries. The slow growth stage of union membership in the labor force was harshly upturned in Canada but remained the same in the US. As a result, for the past 30 years, a huge gap
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The difference between Canada and the US in these areas comprise of bankruptcy, succession rights, first contract negotiations, and union security managements which are all reasons that represent discrepancies in union coverage. The rise in management opposition to unions, both legal and illegal had also been largely related to the union declination in the US. The rapid rise in unjust labor practices demonstrated that the US management attempted to work under a union-free environment. An increased management opposition to unions led to an aggressive economic environment and a considerable union and nonunion wage disparity, Riddell & Freeman (1993). The private sector union membership of Canada and US had drastically dropped. Canada’s union membership reached at 33.4 percent of the workforce in the early 80s but recently declined all the way down to 16 percent. The US showed worse results, they decreased from 29 percent to 7 percent within the same time frame, Stone (2011). Such losses were caused by manufacturing and industrial sector and their problems occurred because of international competition, restructuring, outsourcing and displacement by technology.
Another reason why the union density of the US declined was because of how corporations attacked unions prevalently in the 1970s. They started asking government officials to change labor laws to have made it easier for companies to not only sue unions but to also stop employees from