TWI Job Relations could help GM and UAW

The first nationwide strike in thirty years is finally here. I'm surprised it wasn't sooner than this to be honest. See this NPR article for the full story. What caught my eye was the following excerpt:

"They are losing money every day the strike takes place. Very shortly it will paralyze their Canadian and Mexico operations," Shaiken said.

But the longer the union stays on the picket lines, the more it could encourage GM to ship more jobs abroad.

"They are globally integrated like they have never been before, so they have an option whether to invest here in the U.S. or invest in other places," said David Cole, an industry analyst. "They have basically said that if we have a contract that enables us to be competitive we will invest; if not we will disinvest in the U.S. and use our money where we think we can get a better return."

One has to ask if anyone at the UAW is minding the store, it sounds like GM is at least keeping an eye on their investment return, like any well run corporation should. If they were to simply evaluate the facts first, with a little forward thinking, we see a short and likely bitter demise to the UAW if this goes south on them:

"The 73,000 auto workers now on strike at General Motors now face the prospect of getting by on only $200 a week from the union. If a deal is not reached, the workers' health insurance will cease on Oct. 1."

This is acceptable to the workers? Is it not time to weigh the facts of a modern global economy against the ideals of an outdated management methods, on both sides of this bargaining table?

GM: change your management methods. Work with your employees towards improving your business with a promise of job security. In other words, help your people help themselves.

UAW: what benefits can you bring to the table in that you work with management, not against them? If growth of both organizations is the goal here, how is a combative relationship going to smooth out the process of getting there?

There was a testimonial letter in the TWI Archives about how an AFL-CIO representative negotiated the entire union contract and collective bargaining while sticking to the four step method of Job Relations.

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