Novak, Ralph S.||Green, Gerald G.
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Management
Copper industry and trade; Collective bargaining
In recent years various international unions have pursued company-wide bargaining in order to achieve additional economic strength. In 1967, the International Union Department of the A.F.L. - C.I.O. succeeded in forming a coalition of twenty-six international unions to confront the copper producers with industry-wide bargaining. It is the purpose of this thesis to determine if this method of bargaining was also followed in the copper wire and cable industry, and the extent of its progress. Sub-problems encountered in the study were: whether coalition bargaining cause wire and cable customers to seek substitute materials and whether wire and cable companies passed along any additional labor costs of coalition bargaining to their customers in the form of price increases. A questionnaire was sent to those wire and cable companies who advertised in the Thomas Register. The questionnaire sought to determine the number of employees, union representatives, principal product and business value. Once the dominant union within the industry was determined, their philosophy concerning coordinated bargaining was sought. The conclusion is that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union represents the greatest number of hourly workers within the industry and is still actively pursuing this method of bargaining among wire and cable companies. It was also concluded coordinated bargaining would not reach the industry-wide level as the industry was defined for the purpose of the thesis. This method of bargaining has reached the closure of contract stage for several plants of some of the major companies. It has not yet reached the company-wide level of any major fabricator. The Sub-problems revealed that coordinated bargaining was indirectly responsible for wire and cable customers seeking copper substitutes. This was due both to the high price of import copper and to the length of the strike over industry-wide bargaining. Neither of these causes could be directly attributed to the wire and cable fabricator, since many of them lost money in purchasing foreign import copper. Today many companies and industries have passed their wage settlements along to their customers in the form of increased prices. Although coordinated bargaining has in some instances reaped additional economic wage benefits for its union members, wire and cable companies have not passed these costs to their customers. They have for the most part, followed the pricing established by producers which closely adheres to supply and demand. Industry precedent rather than additional contract costs have established the fabricators' pricing practices.
Curzon, Edward Joseph, "A study of coordinated bargaining in the copper wire and cable industry" (1971). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 606.
Northern Illinois University
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