General feelings toward unions and employers as predictors of union voting intent
The union voting intention literature shows that many nonunion employees who indicate that they think unions are instrumental in increasing wages, benefits, and working conditions would vote against forming a union. Although American workers have often been characterized as pragmatic with regard to their support for unions, the “disconnect” between union beliefs and union voting intentions just described suggests that more subtle forces are at work. In this paper, it is shown empirically that union instrumentality is a limited predictor of union voting intentions for a recent national cross-section of workers. Rather, more general feelings toward unions and employers are primary. These accounted for a large portion of the variance in union voting intentions, with general feelings towards unions by far the most critical predictor. A concluding section discusses whether the results may reflect changes in union power and changes in employee views of unions. Areas for future research are discussed.