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Abstract

This paper explores the impact of union membership on a group of unskilled women workers at a public university in a midwestern city. Although the region has experienced high levels of unemployment in recent years, women subjects have been relatively insulated from job loss. Consistent with other research findings on the consequences of unionization, interviews with 18 women indicate that their job tenure is long, tendency to exit jobs low, and wages and benefits relatively good. African-American and white women have slightly different employment histories, however, reflecting patterns of discrimination and occupational segregation in the work place. Regional economic change has little apparent impact on current spouses' job holding. But their children have had difficulty finding secure jobs.

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