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March 1997, Vol. 120, No. 3
Paul D. Staudohar
Baseball survived the 232-day strike of 1994-95. While full recovery of the game to its former stature remains problematic, it is surely dependent on a prolonged period of labor-management peace. Using a model of collective bargaining set forth in the next section, this article examines the strike and its aftermath, in order to analyze what happened and why. Since 1972, negotiation between the union and owners over contract terms has led to eight work stoppages that have plagued baseball. Hence, there is a clear need for a critical review of the bargaining process.
Industrial relations scholars have long pondered the road to labor-management peace. Over the last half-century, a substantial literature has emerged that offers analytical models, as well as principles, for resolving negotiation problems and preventing work stoppages.1 One might suppose that because of the intractability of baseball's labor-management relations, there are no models or principles that apply. This is not the case, however, and the literature provides ample guidance.
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1 Some of the major texts on the subject are E. Wight Bakke, Mutual Survival: The Goals of Labor and Management (New York, Harper and Row, 1946); Frederick Harbison and John R. Coleman, Goals and Strategy in Collective Bargaining (New York, Harper and Row, 1951); Causes of Industrial Peace under Collective Bargaining: Fundamentals of Labor Peace (Washington, DC, National Planning Association, 1953); Ann Douglas, Industrial Peacemaking (New York, Columbia University Press, 1962); Thomas A. Kochan, Collective Bargaining and Industrial Relations: From Theory to Policy and Practice (Homewood, IL, Richard D. Irwin, 1980); G.G. Somers, ed., Collective Bargaining: Contemporary American Experience (Madison, WI, Industrial Relations Research Association, 1980); Richard E. Walton and Robert B. McKersie, A Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations: An Analysis of a Social Interaction System (Ithaca, NY, ILR Press (Cornell University), 1991); and Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In (New York, Penguin Books, 1981, 1991).
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