The power to create or obstruct employee voice: Does US public policy skew employer preference for 'no voice' workplaces?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Employer demand for voice organizations is severely constrained in the US by a National Labor Relations Act section that outlaws company unions and their functional counterparts. This case study of pertinent NLRB decisions since 1993 shows no relaxation in this strict public policy. Aside from 'no voice' and 'union voice' options, three 'voice' organizations are available to employers: (i) self-managed work teams, (ii) disciplinary committees and (iii) teams or committees that address efficiency, work process or product quality. The first two types are allowed if employers cede control to these self-governing bodies. The third form has limited appeal because of the restrictive range of work subjects that can be addressed. The NLRB continues to prohibit more ambitious types of voice organizations. It is not surprising that substitute unions are found unlawful, but the Board has also ruled against a worker council that provided genuine expression of employee voice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-319
Number of pages9
JournalSocio-Economic Review
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Keywords

  • Company unions
  • Employee voice
  • Employers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Sociology and Political Science

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