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LABOR RELATIONS SPECTRUM

INTEGRATED LABOR RELATIONS

APPLICATION / EXPANSION Union and management collaboration has broadened to


include strategic issues. There is deliberate harmoniz-
Union and management jointly identify mutually beneficial ing of the 2 tracks – contractual and collaborative. The
COMBATIVE LABOR RELATIONS COOPERATIVE EXPLORATION
opportunities and champion operational application in spe- relationship is mutually trusting. Union and manage-
cific areas. Both parties are openly engaged and working ment agree withdrawal is not an option. Joint redesign
This approach to labor relations is characterized by the singular Management and the union(s) acknowledge their interdependence together on operational issues. Leaders collaborate on the of critical support systems enables the collaborative,
intent of both management and the union(s) to defeat each oth- and agree to explore alternative approaches. Usually, some exter- formation, preparation, and development of joint support interest based approach. There is real time dialogue
er. The day-to-day relationship of the two parties is antagonis- nal threat has forced the parties to conclude their fates are linked structures and mid level structures. Jointly identified areas between strategic partners as union and management
tic and potentially permanently destructive. Union and Manage-

COLLABORATIVE ORIENTATION
and that they need to change their relationship. Union and manage- are restructured to improve operational performance. Busi- strive to make joint decision making the norm. Wher-
ment maintain separate formal structures where their internally ment leaders are organized to explore more collaborative approaches
ADVERSARIAL ORIENTATION

ness understanding and operational data is shared and used ever possible Interest Based Bargaining or hybrids are
directed messages of “rally the troops” and “defeat the enemy” through site visits, dialog and sponsoring temporary teams to address to jointly improve performance. There is increased pre-de- utilized.
drive a destructive downward spiral affecting the organization’s critical issues. There is a new openness to sharing information and cisional involvement in making operational improvements
performance, employee and union member attitudes, customer ideas. Some decisions are by mutual agreement. There is explora- and decisions affecting the union. Leaders increase their
satisfaction, and, in public companies, shareholder confidence. tion of consensus-based decision making on jointly agreed upon is- exploration of interest based negotiating. The engagement
Decision making is autocratic, reactive, and unilateral; ignoring sues. Union and management draft a charter in preparation for col- environment influences the CBA track in a positive manner.
or working against the interests of the other party. Virtually no laboration.
information is shared between organizations. Disagreements are
managed litigiously and publicly.

TRADITIONAL OPERATIONAL STRATEGIC


FIRST ABYSS SECOND ABYSS

DEVELOPMENT / EXPERIMENTATION SYSTEM WIDE U/M ENGAGEMENT NON TRADITIONAL LABOR RELATIONS

TRADITIONAL LABOR RELATIONS Union and management leaders work on developing Jointly sponsored change efforts are expanded to in- Within legal limits, management and union are jointly
methods and structures to improve organization per- clude the entire organization. There is a new tension – managing all aspects of the organization. The labor re-
Union and management are intent on protecting their interests. formance and Employee/Member engagement. The recognition of the points of misalignment between the lationship becomes a competitive advantage. Regular
Their relationship is formal, cautious, and unilaterally strategic. labor relationship is open, hopeful, and cautiously op- two tracks. Management and union acknowledge and structures exist to assure ongoing dialog about com-
Any capacity to cooperate is personality based. Union and man- timistic. Management and union form joint leadership appreciate their counterparts’ priorities. Work across mitment to success of both company and union. Every-
agement interactions and information sharing are confined to the teams to promote collaboration by jointly shaping the the entire organization is jointly restructured to im- one has easy access to the information they need to run
contract and contractual issues. Decision making is limited to engagement strategy and structure. Temporary joint prove engagement, collaboration, and performance. their portion of the business. Joint business decisions
higher levels of the union/management relationship and runs be- teams address operational issues. Management and Line of Sight metrics are applied system wide to drive are the norm. The parties have built broad amendable
tween “win-lose” and compromising styles. Formal teams ad- union leaders are sharing and discussing financial, performance improvements. Decision making is relo- contracts based on guiding principles.
dress safety, benefits, EAP. Issues between parties are addressed operational data. They are building capability to im- cated closer to the work. Most problems are solved be-
legalistically, rule-bound, and formally. prove communication of information at all levels. fore they become grievances. Union and management
examine and experiment with interest based bargaining
including hybrid versions.

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