The Mandatory-Permissive distinction and collective bargaining outcomes Delaney and Sockell (1989) Industrial and Labor Relations Review
Mandatory-Permissive subjects • Key differences between categorizations • Mandatory • Must be negotiated • Can be cause to strike/lockout legally • Permissive • Need not be negotiated • Unilateral changes can be made • Do negotiations bias away from perm. Items? • Are duplicitous negotiations used?
Contract Data Analysis • Items classified as permissive • Labor-man. Committees • Point productivity committees • Wage garnishment • 16% of contracts had permissive issues • Mand/Perm issues index calculated • Bargaining over mandatory issues apparently similar over subsamples • More union power needed for favorable outcomes on permissive issues.
Laboratory Experiment • Three contract issues used • Hourly pay • % workers guaranteed employment • Advertising expenditures • Different treatments described each of these topics as mandatory, permissive, or unknown to MBA student subjects. • Results shown in Table 3 • Unknown status hurts union outcome • Permissive status hurts union outcome
Why Care? • NLRB determines status of issues • Changes in legal status may also add uncertainty as to the status of an issue • This may affect bargaining outcomes