The company union was an essential component in the peaceful reduction of labor turnover because it acted as a substitute for the exit option in representing expressions of shop-floor discontent.
A combination of data sources allowed the creation of an index of company union concentration in eight different manufacturing industries for the year 1923 and the accompanying changes in productivity rates and injury rates for a sample of firms in each of those industries over the period 1921-25.
First, regression analysis was employed to explore the relationship between company union concentration and trends in productivity and injury rates.
41) Unreported work examining the simple correlation between company union concentration and changes in horsepower per worker over the decade confirms our suspicion of a positive association across industries on these two measures of innovation.
Whatever the impact of mechanization on injuries, we hypothesize that the relationship between company union concentration and injury rates will differ depending on the pace of mechanization, suggesting that an interactive specification is appropriate.
Surveys of the company union movement often point to important structural changes in the workings of employee representation plans over the decade of the 1920s.
The devolution of decision making and grievance handling functions, characteristic of company union structures during the later 1920s, was also taking place in management structures.
This is consistent with the efficiency-enhancing changes taking place in company union and management structures during this period.
The results presented in row (3) reveal that while company union concentration is negatively associated with the change in injury rates over the period, the simple association is not statistically significant.
Unlike current employer-initiated employee involvement programs, or the company unions of the pre-Wagner Act era, the EPCs would have independent existence (so they could not be dissolved unilaterally by the employer) and legal guarantees of key employee rights.
Unfortunately, discussion of EPCs may largely provide political cover for this very different proposal--one that would allow employers essentially to establish company unions (absent a union organizing drive).
The most important of those changes was permission for workers to form company unions
that could negotiate collective labor agreements, and a government agreement to issue regulations that ``eliminates the role of the security authorities in cases of industrial dispute.