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January, 1985, Vol. 108, No. 1
Bargaining activity light
in private industry in 1985
About 3.5 million of the 9.4 million employees under major collective bargaining agreements (covering 1,000 or more workers) in private industry and State and local government have their contracts slated for renewal or reopening in 1985. Bargaining activity in private industry will be relatively light, with negotiations covering 33 percent of the 7.4 million employees under major agreements. In State and local government, 55 percent of the 2.0 million employees under major agreements are subject to negotiations during 1985, the first year for which data are available for these contracts.1
The light 1985 bargaining calendar in private industry follows 3 years of heavy bargaining. From the mid-1950's to 1983, bargaining over major contracts in private industry was on a cycle of 2 years of heavy activity, each involving about two-fifths of the workers, followed by a third year of lighter activity, involving about three-tenths of the workers. This 3-year cycle was broken when contracts between the United Automobile Workers and Ford Motor Co. and General Motors were negotiated in early 1982 to run for 2½ years. They replaced contracts that were to expire in September 1982 that, had they then been renegotiated for the typical 3-year duration, would have expired in 1985. Thus, bargaining in autos was thrown into 1984, making it the third heavy bargaining year in a row, and making 1985 a light bargaining year.
This excerpt is from an article published in the January 1985 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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1 Prior to this year, this series was limited to private sector collective bargaining agreements covering 1,000 workers or more.
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