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# Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector

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GMAT Club Verbal Expert
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Joined: 13 Aug 2009
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector [#permalink]

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03 Jan 2018, 18:37
sananoor wrote:
GMATNinja and @GMATNinhaTwo kindly explain question 7
Is this question implies that it was structural change that help rise in unionization in public sector but not in private sector?

Quote:
7. The author implies that if the increase in the number of women in the work force and the impact of the women’s movement were the main causes of the rise in unionization of public-sector clerical workers, then

(A) more women would hold administrative positions in unions
(B) more women who hold political offices would have positive attitudes toward labor unions
(C) there would be an equivalent rise in unionization of private-sector clerical workers
(D) unions would have shown more interest than they have in organizing women
(E) the increase in the number of unionized public-sector clerical workers would have been greater than it has been

The third paragraph attempts to answer the question, "What accounts for this upsurge in unionization among clerical workers?":

1) the increase in the number of women in the work force
2) the impact of the women’s movement
3) the structural change in the multi-occupational public-sector unions themselves

The key to question 7 lies in this portion: "The absence of any comparable increase in unionization among private-sector clerical workers, however, identifies the primary catalyst—the structural change in the multi-occupational public-sector unions themselves." In other words, because unionization did not increase among private-sector clerical workers, we can infer that the third reason was the primary cause. This implies that if unionization HAD increased among private-sector clerical workers, then the third reason would probably not have been the PRIMARY cause. So if reasons 1 and 2 were the main causes, we would expect "an equivalent rise in unionization of private-sector clerical workers." (C) is the best answer.

R999 wrote:

Quote:
2. The author cites union efforts to achieve a fully unionized work force (line 13-19) [The strategic reasoning was based, first, on the concern that politicians and administrators might play off unionized against non-unionized workers, and, second, on the conviction that a fully unionized public work force meant power, both at the bargaining table and in the legislature.] in order to account for why

(A) politicians might try to oppose public-sector union organizing
(B) public-sector unions have recently focused on organizing women
(C) early organizing efforts often focused on areas where there were large numbers of workers
(D) union efforts with regard to public-sector clerical workers increased dramatically after 1975
(E) unions sometimes tried to organize workers regardless of the workers’ initial interest in unionization

Consider the preceding sentence: "Receptivity to unionization on the workers’ part was also a consideration, but when there were large numbers involved or the clerical workers were the only unorganized group in a jurisdiction, the multi-occupational unions would often try to organize them regardless of the workers’ initial receptivity." Why did the multi-occupational unions want to organize workers regardless of how receptive the workers were to unionization? In other words, why would the unions try to convince workers to join unions even if the workers weren't very interested in joining?

The highlighted sentence answers that very question. The unions feared that politicians and administrators might "play off" unionized against non-unionized workers (i.e. the politicians and administrators would rather let the two groups fight against each other and take advantage of their fighting rather than see the two groups consolidate into a single power). This concern would obviously go away if all workers were unionized, explaining why unions would want to unionize workers who weren't even receptive to the idea of unionization.

Furthermore, a fully unionized public work force meant more power at the bargaining table and in the legislature (i.e. influencing laws affecting workers). Again, this explains why unions would want to unionize all public workers.

So the highlighted portion seeks to explain why "unions sometimes tried to organize workers regardless of the workers’ initial interest in unionization", and choice (E) is the best answer.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector   [#permalink] 03 Jan 2018, 18:37

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