Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Affairs and Administration
Dr. Robert Peters
Dr. Wayne Wright
Dr. Roger Gross
Union membership in the United States has been in a state of decline over the last two decades and international trade has been cited as one of the reasons. As such, U.S. labor unions perceived the 1994 implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as an assault on organized labor. This perspective is based on the belief U.S. capital and jobs would move jobs south in an effort to take advantage of Mexico's low-wage differentials. With this in mind, the objective of this research was to determine if the percentage of union membership in any of the 22 defined industrial sectors, or 13 occupational sectors exhibited a statistically significant variance since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This objective was accomplished by employing a longitudinal research design that compared the mean percentage of union membership for each of these sectors of the economy for two 6-year time periods. The first period, 1988-1993, immediately preceded NAFTA. The second period, 1995-2000, immediately followed the implementation of NAFTA.
The results of the study indicated that the percentage of union membership in 18 of the 22 industrial sectors, and 10 of the 13 occupational sectors exhibited a statistically significant variance, with most holding negative consequences for unionization.
Westcot, David D., "An Analysis of the Level of Union Membership in the United States Since the Implementation of NAFTA" (2003). Dissertations. 1320.