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January 1995, Vol. 118, No. 1
T he 1995 collective bargaining calendar is heavy, with 42 percent of workers under major agreements (those covering 1,000 or more workers) in private industry and State and local government having contracts scheduled to expire or reopen during the year. This is the largest proportion in the 11 years that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled contract expirations and reopenings for both private industry and State and local governments. It follows on the heels of a record light year, when scheduled bargaining covered just 26 percent of the workers. (See table 1.) About 3.4 million workers are under agreements up for renegotiation, more than in any year since 1986. The calendar would have been even heavier, but three contracts (for 93,000 workers at NYNEX, the League of Voluntary Hospitals in New York City, and Amtrak) originally scheduled for this year were opened early and settled in 1994.
Both private industry and State and local governments have full bargaining schedules in 1995. In private industry, 35 percent of the 5.4 million workers under major agreements are slated for contract talks. This is about the middle of the range of bargaining activity for the period 1985-95, but follows the second lightest bargaining year in the period, when only 25 percent of workers were covered by scheduled contract expirations and reopeners. Four-fifths (1.5 million) of the 1.9 million workers under scheduled 1995 contract renegotiations are in nonmanufacturing, including 374,000 in construction, 360,000 in communications, 212,000 in retail trade (primarily food stores), and 208,000 in railroads. (See table 2 and 3.) About 375,000 workers are under contracts up for renegotiation in manufacturing. Approximately two-fifths of these (157,000) are in transportation equipment manufacturing (primarily aerospace). The rest are in a variety of industries, all with fewer than 70,000 workers under contracts slated for bargaining.
In State and local governments, 56 percent of the 2.8 million workers under major agreements will be involved in bargaining in 1995, the largest proportion since 1985, when the Bureau first tabulated such data. The calendar for each of the previous 2 years had been the lightest since 1985. The nearly 1.6 million workers affected by the contract negotiations are split about equally between State and local governments. The 788,000 State workers involved account for 70 percent of all State workers under major agreements, while only 47 percent (772,0000) of the local government workers under major agreements will be bargaining this year.
This excerpt is from an article published in the January 1995 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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