Do Labor Strikes Achieve Worker Demands? Understanding Strike Outcomes and Effectiveness

Grant Type: doctoral

Grant Year: 2022

Grant Amount: $15,000

Grant description:

This project is a data collection effort that seeks to fill an important gap: the undercounting of strikes. The author will collect data on all strikes in the United States regardless of size, duration, or whether workers are unionized or not. There is a perceived rise in collective action, but current data sources are not collecting information on the full universe of strikes. This effort will define a strike as “a temporary stoppage of work by a group of workers in order to express a grievance or to enforce a demand. Such a grievance or demand may or may not be workplace related.” A rigorous search and verification protocol by the author will ensure that a strike occurred. Data will be collected on other variables related to the strike, and all data will be publicly accessible on an interactive map. This project will extend recent research that has found strikes decreased in both amount and scale, and that strike effectiveness declined. It seeks to provide information on the outcomes of strikes for workers and their organizations, and under what conditions strikes are most effective. A notable extension is an investigation of whether strikes can respond to identity-based inequality, such as racial discrimination or sexual harassment, by studying noneconomic demands.

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