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A Successful Labor-Management Partnership

April 1, 1999
Related Topics: Partnership, Basic Skills Training, Labor Relations, Featured Article
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A successful joint labor-management training program is rooted in cooperation. By sharing power and resources, the company and the union are jointly vested in the success of the program. The benefits of this partnership are shared by both workers and the company. Here are five qualities that illustrate a good labor-management partnership for employee training.

Empowerment
The individuals who will use the training feel empowered and believe that the training is relevant for them. They have to own the training.

Accessibility
Classes and training are provided at times and locations convenient for workers. Educational resources are identifiable, available and accessible for the participant.

Infrastructure
There’s a system in place that provides a continuity of access to training. Education providers are familiar with the culture of the workplace and needs of adult learners.

Cooperation
Labor and management share power. The skills needed are provided by the company and the union. Union and company representatives that jointly oversee education programs must interact with workers to meet their needs and interests.

Vision
The company and the union understand where the company is going. If employees understand the company’s market plan, then they have opportunities to train for the skills necessary for movement within the company.

SOURCE: Merrillville, Indiana-based Institute for Career Development and the New York City-based Association of Joint Labor/Management Education Programs.

Workforce, April 1998, Vol. 78, No. 4, p. 82

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