Lecture An introduction to collective bargaining and industrial relations (4e) – Chapter 12: Participatory processes

Số trang Lecture An introduction to collective bargaining and industrial relations (4e) – Chapter 12: Participatory processes 28 Cỡ tệp Lecture An introduction to collective bargaining and industrial relations (4e) – Chapter 12: Participatory processes 1 MB Lượt tải Lecture An introduction to collective bargaining and industrial relations (4e) – Chapter 12: Participatory processes 0 Lượt đọc Lecture An introduction to collective bargaining and industrial relations (4e) – Chapter 12: Participatory processes 0
Đánh giá Lecture An introduction to collective bargaining and industrial relations (4e) – Chapter 12: Participatory processes
4.1 ( 4 lượt)
Nhấn vào bên dưới để tải tài liệu
Để tải xuống xem đầy đủ hãy nhấn vào bên trên
Chủ đề liên quan

Tài liệu tương tự

Nội dung

Chapter 12 Participatory Processes McGraw-Hill/Irwin An Introduction to Collective Bargaining & Industrial Relations, 4e Copyright © 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserv 12 -3 1 - 3 The Evolution of Worker and Union Participation • Early efforts to create mechanisms for worker involvement included “Quality of Working Life” (QWL) programs - QWL is oriented toward improving organizational performance and the working life of the employees • The QWL programs operate at the lowest level of industrial relations activity, on the shop floor through the involvement of groups of workers 12 -4 1 - 4 Early QWL - Limited Success • Efforts to create interest in QWL expanded in the early 1970s - QWL sought to address a perception that modern factories alienated workers by providing few avenues for employee input - QWL sought to reduce worker alienation known as the “bluecollar blues” - Early efforts had opposition from labor and management • Neither labor nor management saw the need for change • Both labor and management felt that QWL questioned the basic assumptions of the collective bargaining process, and feared for their roles • Few line managers or executives saw the bottom-line relevance of QWL – but QWL was “reborn” in the 1980s as economic pressures intensified 12 -5 1 - 5 Quality Circles • In a typical Quality Circle (QC) program, workers in one area of a plant meet for one or two hours per week with their supervisor - Quality Circles allow workers and management to identify improvements in production and service delivery - Many companies initially reported large payoffs from QC activities, with scrap rates dropping and cost savings through new processes • The Limited Gains from Quality Circles - QC gains dissipated over time - Workers became frustrated when their suggestions were ignored - Workers ran out of suggestions or found them to be in violation of work rules 12 -6 1 - 6 The Broadening of QC and QWL Programs • The most successful QC and QWL programs involved broadening work rules, bargaining issues, and production methods - Without the broadening of work rules, QWL programs were not able to address performance and employment security • The Expansion of QWL at Xerox - Xerox and their union committed to expand problem-solving - Study teams of workers and management suggested changes in work organization that required contractual changes, and thus integrated QWL into the collective bargaining process - Unions agreed to subcontracting and management accepted a nolayoff provision - Xerox won the Baldrige award for organizational excellence, and the participatory activities received much of the credit • Strategic participation included top executive access by unions 12 -7 1 - 7 The Limits of Participation • Events at Xerox at the start of the twenty-first century also illustrate the limits of the participatory process - The process cannot override fundamental changes in market conditions or declines in core business caused by strategic mistakes - By 2000, Xerox lost market share, failed in elements of restructuring, and was charged with accounting irregularities - Employment in Rochester, NY, has been reduced by 50% - While the extent of the participation has diminished, efforts to work together have continued 12 -8 1 - 8 New Channels of Communication • The expansion of the participation processes is often associated with new communications between management and labor - Often led to expanded communication between union officers and higher-management • Work Organization Restructuring - Links to QWL - Work reorganization became a central part of many participation processes due to pressures for flexibility - More easily done in new plants or those that are completely retrofitted 12 -9 1 - 9 The Links between Teamwork, Participation, and Work Restructuring • Teamwork systems require a fundamental reorganization of the workplace - They replace multiple and narrow job classifications with jobs that are broader in scope - Workers make discretionary judgments and an investment in training - Some involve “pay-for-knowledge” plans 1 - 10 12 -10 New Roles for Supervisors • Traditional supervisors are sometimes replaced with team leaders - Many team leaders are members of the bargaining unit rather than first-line management - In some cases, such as the Saturn Corporation, union and nonunion team leaders are paired as partners who share responsibility for managing the teams • The Expansion of Teams - Some plants have an “administrative” team which includes the plant manager and union chairman - A key to such a team’s success is union participation in initial design of changes 1 - 11 12 -11 Managing the Overlap between Participation, Work Restructuring, and Collective Bargaining • As participatory processes expand, unions face a challenge to manage and coordinate the overlap - Unions try to avoid grievance or collective bargaining issues in team meetings - However, the line between collective bargaining and the participatory process blurs as the process matures - This occurred at Xerox, where workers made recommendations that altered job descriptions and subcontracted work - The situation at Xerox and Kaiser Permanente illustrated that some way of integrating contract negotiations with on-going participation must be found for the joint effort to survive 1 - 12 12 -12 Changes in Contractual Procedures that Emerge from Participation • As labor and management participate more directly in decisions, they find the formal contractual procedures less important - Such was the case at Dayton Power, which replaced a 114-page agreement with a 13-page “compact” - That compact introduced a no-layoff clause and new incentive pay system - This illustrated how increased worker and union participation can change practices 1 - 13 12 -13 An Issue for Unions: How Far to Go in Lessening Formal Rules and Procedures • Unions want more cost competitiveness and job security - But don’t want to abandon formal negotiations and grievance procedures - Union leaders can allow participation to proceed but coordinate the connection to collective bargaining - Cases show that if a union maintains an arms-length distance, as some point a confrontation develops or participation withers 1 - 14 12 -14 New Union Rules • Joint steering committees can help with oversight of the participatory process - Former union officers can make good facilitators • They tend to be respected by the work force and adept at compromise - The result is the creation of a complex set of committees and new jobs that coordinate participation and collective bargaining - In many settings, union officers now spend as much of their time on joint activities as they do traditional arm’s-length activities 1 - 15 12 -15 The Expansion of Joint Activities • Other joint activities tend to evolve from the participatory process - They include employee assistance programs, such as alcohol and drug abuse counseling, health and safety committees, absentee programs, training and education, and community service programs - Union officers spend more time in such roles - This trend has led to changes in job titles of workers and more facilitation - In service industries, such as hotels or hospitals where multiemployer bargaining structures exist, joint efforts often cut across employers 1 - 16 12 -16 Worker and Union Participation in Strategic Decisions - Some worker involvement comes from the formal participatory process • In other cases from an informal basis - An example of this evolutionary expansion occurred in some auto plants • Workers and union representatives now sit on planning committees that operate at the plant level • They assist in developing new practices to avoid outsourcing and win new business 1 - 17 12 -17 The Effects of Downsizing and Outsourcing Pressures: Heightened Concern for Employment Security - Downsizing and threats of outsourcing in the 1990s led many unions to increase their involvement in business issues - Unions bargained for employment security clauses that included participation as well as concessions - The process has led to extensive cooperation, including avoidance of representation elections 1 - 18 12 -18 The Sources of Failure • Joint processes seldom last forever - Many fail in the early stages because leaders are unable to make the organizational and role adjustments needed to integrate joint efforts in union/management relationships - Recognition that participatory process are vulnerable to business decisions traditionally under the control of top management is why some labor leaders pressed for a voice in strategic decision making 1 - 19 12 -19 Worker and Union Voice in 21st Century Corporations • The U.S. experienced a crisis of corporate confidence in the early twenty-first century - The scandals arose from accounting and executive compensation issues in companies such as Enron, Tyco, Polaroid, and Adelphia Communications - These scandals raised questions about the role of employees and union representatives in corporate governance - Given the growing importance of knowledge and skills as a source of competitive advantage to corporations, this issue will be important in future debates over the roles of employees 1 - 20 12 -20 The Debate Surrounding Participatory Programs • Critics argue that participatory programs do not lead to meaningful worker involvement - They claim that the team systems are used to put peer pressure on workers and remove the independent voice of the union - They call such programs a “halfway house” to nonunion operations - Proponents argue it’s a better way to reach their membership’s goals 1 - 21 12 -21 Assessing the Effects of Participatory Processes - Management seems convinced that participatory processes and work reforms can improve productivity and quality - A number of unionists are coming to a similar judgment - Research shows that narrowly defined QC and QWL programs have only a small positive effect on product quality and negligible effects on productivity - Auto plants with the highest productivity and quality are not the most technologically advanced, but those that integrate human resource strategy with production processes - The best performing plants link “humanware” and “hardware” through participation 1 - 22 12 -22 Union Representation on a Company’s Board of Directors - Formal representation on the board of directors is another way unions have achieved involvement in strategic decisions - Started with the addition of a UAW representative on Chrysler’s board as part of the federal loan guarantees in 1980 - Not all are success stories, as with Rath Packing and Eastern Airlines - Evidence suggests that board membership alone does not lead to substantial payoff for workers 1 - 23 12 -23 Employee Ownership - A more radical form or participation is employee ownership - In some cases, employee buyouts occurred in the face of impending plant shutdowns - Some unions have promoted employee ownership as a way to improve job security - The employee buyout of United Airlines is the most noteworthy example - In 1994, United became the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. - It is not clear that the employee ownership had a positive effect on morale or corporate performance at United 1 - 24 12 -24 The Views of Labor Toward Employee Ownership - Unions have been traditionally unenthusiastic - Union leaders may fear that ownership will lead to a lack of need for a union - However, studies show this may not be the case - While new forums arise in ESOPs, members still prefer traditional bargaining for wage and benefit negotiations - Unions fear that economic pressures will bring wage and benefit cuts to save jobs - Unions are also concerned about the effects of such wage cuts on other unionized firms in the industry 1 - 25 12 -25 The Impact of Worker Ownership on Economic Performance • Evidence suggest that performance improves in employeeowned firms when workers have broader decision-making opportunities - ESOPs may work best in small, stable firms, where skilled workers can improve productivity and economic performance through motivation and group performance - Critics say ESOPs put worker pensions at risk without any real increase in decision-making 1 - 26 12 -26 Participation through Industrywide Labor-Management Committees • In some competitive industries with numerous employers and a single union or small number of unions, industrywide labor-management committees historically were used to discuss problems of mutual interest outside the collective bargaining process • Those committees represented early efforts by unions to participate in broad strategic issues outside of formal collective bargaining 1 - 27 12 -27 The Textile Industry Case - The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU - now part of UNITE) became involved at the early stage in research and development to mechanize production to help stem the flow of imported goods - In contrast to other unions, the ACTWU became deeply involved before management’s strategic decision to implement the technology - Later, the union agreed to an experimental program that allowed some importation of goods in exchange for a commitment to reinvest in U.S. facilities - Joint committees can be useful in creating links between participation and the formal bargaining process 1 - 28 12 -28 Summary - Experience suggest that new participatory processes cannot operate in isolation from collective bargaining - Reforms work best when they are associated with changes across all three levels of industrial relations activity - The ultimate success of reforms depends upon the ability to reinforce and sustain high levels of trust - To achieve tangible benefits, participatory programs have often been accompanied by contract changes - Shop floor participation has been spurred by strategic participation - This helps convince workers that enhanced job security will follow strategic participation - Union critics fear that they will be co-opted by management in the participatory process and their independence will be compromised - Participation has rarely expanded without a crisis setting
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.