The preceding eight chapters deal with the current status of collective bargaining in eight U.S. industries. The differences between collective bargaining for police officers and auto workers or between professional athletes and college professors are obvious and illustrate the richness and variety of contemporary collective bargaining. Despite that diversity, however, the eight industries exhibit important similarities in collective bargaining. The common themes that link most, if not all, of the industries examined in this volume are perhaps less obvious, but a careful reading of the preceding chapters reveals that there have been a number of common factors affecting collective bargaining in these industries even though the responses of the different labor-management pairs have varied.
This chapter identifies and discusses some of the most important of the common themes that emerge from the study of these eight industries. The same general framework used to organize each of the industry studies—a modification of Dunlop's systems model—is again used here to examine those themes. Although most of the topics discussed below will be illustrated with examples from at least two of the eight industries, some references will also be made to the experience in industries not covered in this book. We conclude by discussing the future of collective bargaining in American industry.