[Excerpt] Of course, collective bargaining in this country has always been an institution rich in diversity. The nature of each collective bargaining relationship came about through a variety of influences both internal and external to the bargaining process. The internal factors include such things as the ideology of labor and management, the way the unions and employers were organized, and the history of the relationship between the parties. The external factors include the state of the economy and the nature of the laws and court decisions that regulate bargaining practices.
Nonetheless, this diversity has never been more in evidence than in the 1980s. The environmental forces mentioned above placed such strains on labor and management that bargaining in many industries was jolted out of the path it had followed since World War II. Different unions and employers responded to these pressures in different ways, however, creating more diversity than had been apparent for most of the post-World War II period.
This volume was designed with the intent of capturing that diversity. The eight industry studies illustrate the variety of ways in which bargaining is practiced as well as the diversity of forces and industry adaptations that have been reshaping collective bargaining in the United States. Thus, we present studies of industries in which collective bargaining is a well-established process (automobiles and agricultural machinery, for example) and ones in which it is not (higher education and police). We have a representative selection of manufacturing and services, private sector and public sector, white-collar and blue-collar bargaining.