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

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Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 18 Sep 2017, 04:53
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Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector clerical workers, most of whom are women, were somewhat limited. The factors favoring unionization drives seem to have been either the presence of large numbers of workers, as in New York City, to make it worth the effort, or the concentration of small numbers in one or two locations, such as a hospital, to make it relatively easy. 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. 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 localities where clerical workers were few in number, were scattered in several workplaces, and expressed no interest in being organized, unions more often than not ignored them in the pre-1975 period.

But since the mid-1970’s, a different strategy has emerged. In 1977, 34 percent of government clerical workers were represented by a labor organization, compared with 46 percent of government professionals, 44 percent of government blue-collar workers, and 41 percent of government service workers. Since then, however, the biggest increases in public-sector unionization have been among clerical workers. Between 1977 and 1980, the number of unionized government workers in blue-collar and service occupations increased only about 1.5 percent, while in the white-collar occupations the increase was 20 percent and among clerical workers in particular, the increase was 22 percent.

What accounts for this upsurge in unionization among clerical workers? First, more women have entered the work force in the past few years, and more of them plan to remain working until retirement age. Consequently, they are probably more concerned than their predecessors were about job security and economic benefits. Also, the women’s movement has succeeded in legitimizing the economic and political activism of women on their own behalf, thereby producing a more positive attitude toward unions. 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. Over the past twenty years, the occupational distribution in these unions has been steadily shifting from predominantly blue-collar to predominantly white-collar. Because there are far more women in white-collar jobs, an increase in the proportion of female members has accompanied the occupational shift and has altered union policy-making in favor of organizing women and addressing women’s issues.
1. According to the passage, the public-sector workers who were most likely to belong to unions in 1977 were

(A) professionals
(B) managers
(C) clerical workers
(D) service workers
(E) blue-collar workers

Spoiler: :: OA
A

Spoiler: :: OE
A is the best answer. In the second paragraph, the author gives the percentages of workers who were unionized in different categories of the public sector in 1977. Forty-six percent of government professionals were unionized; this is greater than the percentage for any of the other categories of unionized workers from among the listed categories of public-sector workers. Therefore, professionals were more likely to belong to unions than were other public-sector workers.

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

Spoiler: :: OA
E

Spoiler: :: OE
E is the best answer. In lines 17-24, the author describes the reasoning behind the multioccupational unions’ attempt to achieve a fully unionized workplace. This reasoning is provided to explain why “the multioccupational unions would often try to organize them <clerical workers> regardless of the workers’ initial receptivity”(lines 15-17). A helps to explain, but is not explained by, the attempt to achieve a fully unionized work force. An explanation for C is given in lines 4-7. B and D are explained in the second and third paragraphs of the passage.

3. The author’s claim that, since the mid-1970’s, a new strategy has emerged in the unionization of public-sector clerical workers (line 23) [But since the mid-1970’s, a different strategy has emerged.] would be strengthened if the author

(A) described more fully the attitudes of clerical workers toward labor unions
(B) compared the organizing strategies employed by private-sector unions with those of public-sector unions
(C) explained why politicians and administrators sometimes oppose unionization of clerical workers
(D) indicated that the number of unionized public-sector clerical workers was increasing even before the mid-1970’s
(E) showed that the factors that favored unionization drives among these workers prior to 1975 have decreased in importance

Spoiler: :: OA
E

Spoiler: :: OE
The question asks what would strengthen the author’s claim that a new strategy for unionization has emerged since the mid-1970’s. Lines 30-31 cite the appearance of the new strategy. The paragraphs that follow describe the changed circumstances that provided a context for such new strategies. Lines 70-76 explain precisely how these changed circumstances created a reason for new unionizing strategies. The author’s claim would be strengthened if it could be shown not only that there are such new circumstances, but that the old circumstances discussed in the first paragraph have become less important, further necessitating the adoption of a new strategy in place of an old strategy suitable to those older circumstances.

4. According to the passage, in the period prior to 1975, each of the following considerations helped determine whether a union would attempt to organize a certain group of clerical workers EXCEPT

(A) the number of clerical workers in that group
(B) the number of women among the clerical workers in that group
(C) whether the clerical workers in that area were concentrated in one workplace or scattered over several workplaces
(D) the degree to which the clerical workers in that group were interested in unionization
(E) whether all the other workers in the same jurisdiction as that group of clerical workers were unionized

Spoiler: :: OA
B

Spoiler: :: OE
In the first paragraph, the author describes the considerations relevant to a union’s attempt to organize a certain group of clerical workers prior to 1975. In lines 2-3, the author notes the fact that most of these clerical workers were women, but does not suggest that this was an important consideration for unionizers.

5. The author states that which of the following is a consequence of the women’s movement of recent years?

(A) An increase in the number of women entering the work force
(B) A structural change in multi-occupational public-sector unions
(C) A more positive attitude on the part of women toward unions
(D) An increase in the proportion of clerical workers that are women
(E) An increase in the number of women in administrative positions

Spoiler: :: OA
C

Spoiler: :: OE
According to the author, “the women’s movement has succeeded in legitimizing the economic and political activism of women on their own behalf,” and this in turn has produced in women “a more positive attitude toward unions”(lines 56-60).
Although other choices describe developments mentioned in the passage, none of these are said to have been a consequence of the women’s movement.

6. The main concern of the passage is to

(A) advocate particular strategies for future efforts to organize certain workers into labor unions
(B) explain differences in the unionized proportions of various groups of public-sector workers
(C) evaluate the effectiveness of certain kinds of labor unions that represent public-sector workers
(D) analyzed and explain an increase in unionization among a certain category of workers
(E) describe and distinguish strategies appropriate to organizing different categories of workers

Spoiler: :: OA
D

Spoiler: :: OE
In the first paragraph of the passage, the author asserts that efforts to unionize public-sector clerical workers prior to 1975 were limited and then goes on to describe these limited efforts. In the second paragraph, the author asserts that a new strategy developed after 1975 and cites an increase in union membership among public-sector clerical workers. The author begins the last
paragraph by asking what can explain this increase in union membership, and then proceeds to provide an explanation. Thus, the passage is primarily concerned with analyzing and explaining the increase in unionization among public-sector clerical workers.

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

Spoiler: :: OA
C

8. The author suggests that it would be disadvantageous to a union if

(A) many workers in the locality were not unionized
(B) the union contributed to political campaigns
(C) the union included only public-sector workers
(D) the union included workers from several jurisdictions
(E) the union included members from only a few occupations

Spoiler: :: OA
A

9. The author implies that, in comparison with working women today, women working in the years prior to the mid-1970’s showed a greater tendency to

(A) prefer smaller workplaces
(B) express a positive attitude toward labor unions
(C) maximize job security and economic benefits
(D) side with administrators in labor disputes
(E) quit working prior of retirement age

Spoiler: :: OA
E

AEEBCDCAE

Originally posted by anilnandyala on 17 Oct 2010, 20:53.
Last edited by hazelnut on 18 Sep 2017, 04:53, edited 6 times in total.
OE added to some questions, reformatted question
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2010, 10:05
Took 20 minutes, not too bad for a passage like this, about 1.5 minutes per question, and 3 minutes to read the passage

1 a, straightforward

2 e

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. 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. The author states 2 reasons the efforts to unionize workers regardless of their initial interest.

3 C

Not sure why.

4 d

They organized them regardless of the worker's interest and desire

5 c

Also, the women’s movement has succeeded in legitimizing the economic and political activism of women on their own behalf, thereby producing a more positive attitude toward unions.

6 d

analyzed and explain an increase in unionization among a certain category of workers. The message is largely concerned with why increase has taken place.

7 b

Doubtfull

8 d
(D) the union included workers from several jurisdictions. They did not try to organize small numbers of workers from an isolated locality, I assumed the jurisdiction was an issue.

9 e
First, more women have entered the work force in the past few years, and more of them plan to remain working until retirement age.
Straight from the passage.

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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2010, 10:13
in 8. It shoul be an A as I read through again.
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2010, 08:07
1.A
"...46 percent of government professionals"
2.E
3.B
4.B
5.C
6.D
7.D
8.A
9.E
"more women have entered the work force in the past few years, and more of them plan to remain working until retirement age."

I am not good at RC took me 20mins to read the passage and answer all the questions.
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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18 May 2011, 18:48
unable to understand why is the answer A for this.

According to the passage, the public-sector workers who were most likely to belong to unions in 1977 were
(A) professionals
(B) managers
(C) clerical workers
(D) service workers
(E) blue-collar workers

"In 1977, 34 percent of government clerical
(25) workers were represented by a labor organization,
compared with 46 percent of government professionals,
44 percent of government blue-collar workers, and
41 percent of government service workers,"

is similar to 34% of A, 46% of B,....

So, it can not be deduced whether 34% of A is > or < than 46% of B, since we do not know the sizes of A or B.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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18 May 2011, 22:31
"Likely to belong" = "Probability of"

grapesfarmer wrote:
unable to understand why is the answer A for this.
----------
----------

So, it can not be deduced whether 34% of A is > or < than 46% of B, since we do not know the sizes of A or B.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2011, 02:51
1
Hi,

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
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2011, 21:54
akbism wrote:
Hi,

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

It is C. In the last paragraph, if you observe the sentence where the author says that a similar prediction was expected for private sector clerical workers but stated a reason for not happening so. It implies that "the author" implies 'C'.
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2012, 09:26
raghavakumar85 wrote:
akbism wrote:
Hi,

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

It is C. In the last paragraph, if you observe the sentence where the author says that a similar prediction was expected for private sector clerical workers but stated a reason for not happening so. It implies that "the author" implies 'C'.

I understood why C is viable, but i'm confused between options A and D

A seems correct as the passage says that women's number has increased in white collar jobs.

In D, if the movement etc is useful then obviously the unions would have shown more interest in organizing women (1st line of 1st para and last line of last paragraph)

Please explain why these are incorrect.

Thanks!
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2012, 10:37
Can somebody explain the following questions:
2. The author cites union efforts to achieve a fully unionized work force (line 13-19) 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
3. The author’s claim that, since the mid-1970’s, a new strategy has emerged in the unionization of public-sector clerical workers (line 23) would be strengthened if the author
(A) described more fully the attitudes of clerical workers toward labor unions
(B) compared the organizing strategies employed by private-sector unions with those of public-sector unions
(C) explained why politicians and administrators sometimes oppose unionization of clerical workers
(D) indicated that the number of unionized public-sector clerical workers was increasing even before the mid-1970’s
(E) showed that the factors that favored unionization drives among these workers prior to 1975 have decreased in importance
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2012, 13:37
yup, these are the topics I dont want on my GMAT
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2013, 09:22
Hi. Can someone please help me understand what is question 7 asking for? It seems as if the hypothetical situation it is presenting is exactly the same as the one in the passage. Why should there be any change in the result?
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2013, 10:36
2
karan1337 wrote:
raghavakumar85 wrote:
akbism wrote:
Hi,

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

It is C. In the last paragraph, if you observe the sentence where the author says that a similar prediction was expected for private sector clerical workers but stated a reason for not happening so. It implies that "the author" implies 'C'.

I understood why C is viable, but i'm confused between options A and D

A seems correct as the passage says that women's number has increased in white collar jobs.

In D, if the movement etc is useful then obviously the unions would have shown more interest in organizing women (1st line of 1st para and last line of last paragraph)

Please explain why these are incorrect.

Thanks!

karan1337,

Question #7 asks what would happen 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"

Well, the last paragraph is where the author talks about the reasons for the rise in unionization. Those reasons are "more women in the work force", "success in legitimizing women political activisim", etc...

Now if there is
1) an increase in # of women in the work force
2) impact of women's movement..

Then what?

Well that last paragraph goes on to say:
"the absence of any comparable increase in unionization among private-sector clerical workers" -- that means the fact that there was NO increase in unionization in the private sector whereas there WAS an increase in unionization in the PUBLIC sector is because...what?

It's because of some "structural" change. The PUBLIC sector had this structural change but the PRIVATE sector did not.

What kind of "structural" change? A structural change in the multi-occupational public-sector unions themselves. What does that mean? Multi-occupational?

Well the following sentences talks about the occupational distribution between white collar and blue collar jobs. Women mostly are in white collared jobs. Over the past 20 years, the distribution has moved towards white collared jobs, subsequently there has been more females in the job market. More females means we have the increase in female workers we just talked about. How did that come about? Through a structural change toward more white-collared jobs from blue-collared jobs. That structural shift in distribution from blue-collared jobs to white-collared jobs explains why women in labor force increased and why unionization efforts increased in the public sector.

Question #7 is an inference question. The "catalyst" for a rise in public-sector unionization is a structural shift that meant more women in the labor force percentage-wise. The "absence" of unionization in the private sector means the private sector must LACK this structural shift. The private sector must LACK an increase in women labor force participation.

But if the private sector DID have that structural "catalyst" and did have higher women labor force participation, this would result in higher unionization.

Essentially, the passage used "critical reasoning" (specifically "negation") to reason that the structural change was a key factor in affecting unionization.

Critical Reasoning Negation Concept
Original: Structural shift --> Unionization (public)
Negation: No structural shift --> No Unionization (private)

If the private sector DID have a structural shift, we would see the outcome of "unionization".

The problem with (A)
(A) more women would hold administrative positions in unions
(A) is too specific. We know that more women are involved under the hypothetical situation brought up in #7. If there is a higher # of women in the work force, then....what?
This is an inference question so whatever that inferred statement is -- among the answer choices -- it must be supported by information in the passage. Where in the passage does it support the fact that women would hold, specifically, more ADMINISTRATIVE positions? No such information in the passage supports this specific claim.

The problem with (D)
(D) unions would have shown more interest than they have in organizing women
Where in the passage does it support the claim that unions would show MORE interest? Heck, we don't even have anywhere in the passage that talks about unions showing interest in organizing women...let alone showing that the interest level would increase. Sure, women are becoming part of these unions and there's more of them, but the passage does not talk about the perspective of the union as a whole and for that entire union, whether or not they would INCREASE their interest in organizing women. Unions do not organize women. Women are the ones that join these unions and participate in them.
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2013, 04:30
can anybody elaborate on Q7,, i think the answer might be E but as no OA given not sure whether the answer is correct.

My reasoning is that in the first para the author says the no to 1975 the no. of unionised clerical workers were less and in the para concerning the women the unionisation has increased(wrt no. of clerical workers) thereby increasing the no. of Public sector workers.

this line--> 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 suggest that he is talking only about the increase in "public sector clerical workers".

please let me know if the answer and reason is something else.
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2013, 05:12
1
These passages are from the old OGs.
I found long passages in some of the portals. These have about 450+ words. When you practise on these passages you have a false idea of the time taken for each question. For example: When I do all the 9 questions and find out the time taken, I find I have done quite well because the total time will be divided by 9 . However, the last few questions will be easier, because I would have got a good grasp of the passage by the 5th question.
However, I need to actually see how long it takes for thE first 4 questions and also the accuracy for the first 4 questions.

I was able to solve the 9 questions in these long passages and found my time per question was only 73 seconds with 7out of 9 questions correct.
But, I was taking 6 minutes for the first 4 questions and the 2 incorrect was always in the first 4. So my accuracy is only 50% .

I don't know how many of you actually understood what I am trying to tell. I suggest you read the passage and answer only the first 4 questions and see your accuracy and time taken. This would help you improve.
In the actual GMAT you get 4 passages of 250 250 250 350 words usually
with 3 3 3 4 questions respectively.

These are my 2 cents...
you may ignore if not useful..
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11 Apr 2015, 02:20
Hi,
Can anybody please explain why the answer of Q 4 is (b).
We know that the clerical workers were unionized irrespective of their interest. So why isnt the answer (d)?
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2015, 18:38
1. According to the passage, the public-sector workers who were most likely to belong to unions in 1977 were:
"compared with 46 percent of government professionals"

2.The author cites union efforts to achieve a fully unionized work force (line 13-19) in order to account for why:
"a fully unionized public work force meant power, no interest in being organized, unions more often than not ignored them"

3. The author’s claim that, since the mid-1970’s, a new strategy has emerged in the unionization of public-sector clerical workers (line 23) would be strengthened if the author:
(E) showed that the factors that favored unionization drives among these workers prior to 1975 have decreased in importance.
" Prior 1975, unions were concerned about power, while the mid-1975 clerical workers increased significantly in unions." Choice E said that the reasons clerical workers attended to unions are different from prior 1975, the purposes of union are different as well, It strengthens the new strategy."

4. Can some one explain and show me where the answer placed in the passage ?

5.The author states that which of the following is a consequence of the women’s movement of recent years?
(C) A more positive attitude on the part of women toward unions
"the women’s movement has succeeded in legitimizing the economic and political activism of women on their own behalf, thereby producing a more positive attitude toward unions."

6. The main concern of the passage is to
(B) explain differences in the unionized proportions " Paragraph 3"
(C) evaluate the effectiveness of certain kinds of labor unions " Paragraph 3"
(D) analyzed and explain an increase in unionization among a certain category of workers. ( cover all 3 passages)
(E) describe and distinguish strategies appropriate to organizing different categories of workers ( Not distinguish strategies)
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2016, 20:00
[I understood why C is viable, but i'm confused between options A and D

A seems correct as the passage says that women's number has increased in white collar jobs.

In D, if the movement etc is useful then obviously the unions would have shown more interest in organizing women (1st line of 1st para and last line of last paragraph)

Please explain why these are incorrect.

Thanks!]

"Because there are far more women in white-collar jobs, an increase in the proportion of female members has accompanied the occupational shift and has altered union policy-making in favor of organizing women and addressing women’s issues" - A seems more apt, as the paragraph concedes that the structural change has happened in the public sector and distinguishes it from the private sector. Since there are increasing number of women in the work force who are interested in union, and there is increasing focus on women's issues - likely that women hold more administrative positions
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2017, 11:32
Can anyone please explain the ans of question 1 and question 8?

I found this passage very difficult... Took 25 mins to ans all questions.... 7 correct out of 9....
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector  [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2017, 14:21
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Quote:
In 1977, 34 percent of government clerical (25) workers were represented by a labor organization, compared with 46 percent of government professionals, 44 percent of government blue-collar workers, and 41 percent of government service workers. Since then, however, the biggest increases in public-sector unionization have been among clerical workers.

Here the trap answer is just C. As you can notice from my excerpt of the passage, clerical worker had an increase after 1977; which mean that some other category was biggest. 46 % were professionals. A is the answer.

Quote:
In localities where clerical workers were few in number, were scattered in several workplaces, and expressed no interest in being organized, unions more often than not ignored them in the pre-1975 period.

From red and bold part of the excerpt you infer that for unions were unconvenient in localities to organize the workers in their different categories. A is the answer. Be careful when you read in the stimulus of the question "the author suggest" which means in somehow "what do you infer from the author words"........

Hope this helps
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Re: Prior to 1975, union efforts to organize public-sector &nbs [#permalink] 13 Mar 2017, 14:21

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