Union Response to a Hostile Labor Environment: The Case of Austin, Texas 1993
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The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local union 1624 and the City of Austin, Texas have a dynamic and dependent relationship. Their relationship is similar to two good runners who need the challenge of each other to achieve greatness. It is not an adversarial relationship at all times, but rather one of competition. Competition for the support and loyalty of taxpayer-voters and public employees whom they both purport to serve. Each organization challenging the other to do its best. The purpose of this study is to explore the dynamics of the relationship between the City of Austin, Texas and AFSCME Local 1624. It represents a continuum of scholarly research begun by Chester A. Newland (1962), followed by I.B. Helburn (1971), Charles J. Morris (1976), and Cheryl G. Swanson (1989). This study, in fact, replicates the 1989 Swanson study. Using similar hypotheses and methodology, this study charts the changes that have occurred in the city-union relationship since Swanson's effort.