In today’s highly competitive global economy it is very important for both management and labor to work together to continuously improve the performance of the business as measured by the quality, price, and features of its products, the satisfaction of its customers, and the benefits provided to all its employees. Achieving continuous improvement requires good labormanagement relations, the timely resolution of workplace disputes, the effective use of the collective bargaining process, innovative approaches to workplace organization, mutual sharing of specialized knowledge about the business, and the shared ownership of new ideas. The SEWN program is experienced in working jointly with labor and management to resolve disputes and improve labor management relations both in crisis situations and over the long-term. Resolving Labor-Management Conflict
Unresolved disputes between management and labor contribute to many company crises. While some, even sharp, conflict may in fact be a sign of healthy workplace relationships, far too often businesses are put in jeopardy by failing to implement high-performance organizational strategies and improve labormanagement relations. The SEWN program has helped a number of clients
resolve crisis situations before they cost the workforce their jobs and the community an important employer. Through these efforts to retain manufacturing in the region we have learned that two key principals are critical for success:
1. The Need to Engage the Workforce
To be successful over the long-run, all companies need to engage their workforce in the operation of the business by insuring that workers have the knowledge and skills to do the job as well as the interest and enthusiasm to get things done. In situations in which the workforce is represented by a union, however, management is often ambivalent about the role of the union in the operation of the business. When trust is absent it is especially...