February 17, 2011
Death, Taxes and the Teamsters
The proverb lamenting the certainty of death and taxes could be modified to include the likelihood of a union election involving the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).
Walker analyzed 20,000 union elections held since 2000 to determine which unions represent the biggest threat in each industry sector. If you saw the January 27, 2011 Industrial e-Lert, you will recall that the IBT leads all unions with more than 5,000 certification elections. The next nine unions based on election volume are also shown in the referenced e-Lert.
Our analysis of these top ten unions stratified elections by union and industry to determine which unions have the most elections in each sector. The results surprised even us!
The Teamsters are well known in the Transportation and Warehousing sector, its “core” target, and the statistics underscore this point vividly. Among the top ten unions, the IBT accounted for 75% of all certification elections held in this sector.
[Place cursor over chart to enlarge]
But the IBT is also the most threatening union in 10 other industry sectors, shown in the accompanying graph. The share of certification elections attributable to the IBT in each sector is color-coded. In industries in which the Teamsters held more elections than any of the other top ten unions, the bar is colored red. In sectors where the IBT was second, the bar is green, and so forth as shown in the legend of the chart.
The Teamsters held more certification elections than the other top ten unions in 11 of the 20 sectors examined. It was the number two union in six sectors, and ranked number three in two industries. In only a single sector, Health Care/Social Assistance, was the Teamsters a minor player, with less than 10% of the elections held.
The pervasiveness of the IBT is clearly illustrated in the accompanying map, which depicts the density of Teamsters elections across the country since 1990. The union has very
[Place cursor over chart to enlarge]
heavy election density in the major population centers on the West Coast, Midwest and the Northeast, which may create challenges in siting distribution centers in these popular logistics hubs.
Walker’s powerful screening and analytical tools provide excellent visibility into labor union and other critical site selection variables for distribution and manufacturing operations.