Does Technological Change Affect Union Wage Bargaining Power?
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2009
© 1991 Blackwell Publishing Ltd / London School of Economics
British Journal of Industrial Relations
Volume 29, Issue 3, pages 447–462, September 1991
How to Cite
Betcherman, G. (1991), Does Technological Change Affect Union Wage Bargaining Power?. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 29: 447–462. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.1991.tb00253.x
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2009
- Final version accepted 25 March 1991.
This paper uses data from a survey of Canadian establishments to consider the effects of computer-based process technological change on wage bargaining power. The analysis finds that union wage differentials for blue-collar workers as a whole were lower among firms that had introduced process computerization than among those that had not. The relationship between technological change and the union wage premium differed, however, for skilled and unskilled labour. The union wage effect was lower for skilled workers and higher for general manual occupations in the sub-sample where process computerization had occurred. Explanations for these observed relationships appear to involve both economic and institutional components.