Teams & Unions : LUSENET : work teams : One Thread

I am looking for experiences or referrals to assist our firm in designing and implementing work teams in the union environment.

Specifics would be helpful; i.e. specific unions, geography, industry, type of team, etc.

Please respond directly to my email:

I will forward a summary of all responses received!

Thank you for your help

Alan Booth 203-454-3502

-- Alan Booth (, May 24, 1998


There are several good examples of companies and unions working together. Safety and health arena's are prime examples of when it makes sense. Another such area, is with teams. The trick is to bring the common issues (company and union) into the outline of the team process being used. This is usually the downfall for this partnering. Many common starting points are in marketshare, product development, future stability, and profits. Unions need the company to be profitable and secure, the company needs a motivated and dedicated workforce. Tie these concerns into a package, address them and the sky is the limit. Do not attempt to dictate to the unions about what they need to do, you will only alienate any support. They know what their responsibilities, you nedd to make sure that their concerns are addressed in the outline of the direction you are going.

I am on assignment from the International Association of Machinists, to assist Boeing Corporation (Space & Defense Systems) with training, empowerment, and team concepts in general. The IAM has written a detailed plan for partnering, it is called the "HPWO field manual", and it is very detailed in the expectations of the unions and their needs.

-- kevin cummings (, July 27, 1998.

In Australia there are many examples of teams being implemented in unionised workforces.

I deliver training in support of teams on behalf of Holmesglen Institute of TAFE in a few companies where there is strong union representation.

Interestingly, union officials with whom I work, view teams as a way for their memebers to empower themselves in decisio making and to make improvements in the physical conditions of thier workplace.

There is also a level of suspicion regarding teams as just one more way for companies to reduce employee numbers, but generally there is a level of support for them in large scale manufacturing indu

-- Peter J Robertson (, August 05, 1998.

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