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Closed and Open Shop Union Productivity

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John Whitney
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Have there been any authorative studies done into the comparative productivity rates achieved between closed and open shop union labour operating in either Canada or the US? If so, I would appreciate some pointers.

Thanks.

John

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Stuart Ness
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John,
I was involved in a large construction project in the American Mid-West a few years ago, where we tried to have only non-union labor. We couldn’t get non-union labor in all trades, and where we did have to engage union labor, the differences in theoretical productivity were insignificant. Costs, however, were a different matter. I would agree with Bernard’s comments that union labor involves more attendant and ancillary workers to get the same job done by non-union workers. Furthermore, supervision of workers is theoretically (and from a cost point of view) higher with union workers than it is with non-union workers.
For measuring productivity we used "Estimator’s General Construction Man-hour Manual" by John S. Page.
Cheers,
Stuart

www.rosmartin.com
Bernard Ertl
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I have observed that turnarounds employing union labor vs those with non-union labor require much greater coordination to manage resources. The productivity losses were not so much from the individual’s performance as the inefficiencies of requiring 3 different skills [people] (with attendant mobilization issues) to do a job that one multi-skilled non-union type can perform in non-union shops.

Bernard Ertl
InterPlan Systems - ATC Professional Shutdown / Turnaround Management System
John Whitney
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Dayanidhi,

Thanks for the link. Actually, I am more interested in productivity figures and comparative unit costs, rather than simple hourly rates. I wonder if there is recognized study on this.

I suspect that there is a "double hit" operating here, with union productivity also lower. Along with the higher hourly rates you have confirmed, this results in the final unit cost for union labor being far higher than non-union.


John
Dayanidhi Dhandapany
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Dear John,

Is this Link helpful to you?.

Regards

Daya