Unionization of American Engineers

by Benjamin Earle Burritt, (M.ASCE), Civ. Engr.; Traffic Operations Service, Highways Div., Arizona Dept. of Transportation, Phoenix, Ariz.,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 2, Pg. 111-121

Document Type: Journal Paper


The unionization of the engineering profession continues to challenge the organizing abilities of American labor unions. Professional engineering societies remain opposed to engineering unions on the grounds that they are incompatible with a professional occupation. By understanding the career conflicts within the profession and the environment within which professionalism and unionism interact, a better understanding can be achieved concerning the professional dilemmas associated with engineering unions. History suggests that the engineer will eventually unionize. The form of organization which they will join and the speed with which this occurs is difficult to forecast. It depends, in part, on the economic climate for engineers, public attitudes toward unions, the evolutionary process of the profession, management strategy, the orientation of engineering societies, and the ability of unions to develop the methods, goals, and structure appropriate to the needs and problems of the engineer.

Subject Headings: Professional societies | Management methods | Labor | Professional development | History | Forecasting | Economic factors | Climates

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