2015 Best & Worst in Labor-Management Relations List

Overland Resource Group's third annual list takes macro view

Dec 15, 2015, 11:00 ET from Overland Resource Group

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Overland Resource Group announced its picks for the third annual Best & Worst of Labor-Management Relations. This year's Best/Worst list differs in scope from previous years, taking an industry view instead of individual employers and unions, plus a special recognition category.

Each year, the \org\ team compiles and analyzes data from a variety of public sources to pick Best & Worst candidates. Selection criteria included: measurable positive outcomes or negative impacts; modeling innovation versus outdated resolution approaches; and demonstrated leadership vision (or a lack thereof).

"Rather than a list of companies and unions, this year we took a broader, industry-wide approach to identify systemic best and worst examples," said Robert Hughes, president of Overland Resource Group. "We also include Special Recognition category, for laudable employer actions that made meaningful differences for workers." 


UAW and the Big Three Auto Manufacturers 

This year when the voting workforce turned down the initial tentative agreement, UAW and management leaders went back to the table and did what congress has been unable to do for years. They found a way to balance four somewhat contradictory needs:

  • The membership's desire to more rapidly eliminate the lower wage Tier 2 scale under which employees hired in 2007 or the years following, are paid significantly less than their more tenured colleagues doing the same work
  • The concerns of Skilled Trades workers that their seniority was being eroded and their unique work was being degraded
  • The companies' desire to preserve capital to invest in improved manufacturing techniques
  • The UAW International's desire to prevent the highest dollar value jobs from being shipped offshore.

Did everyone get exactly what they wanted? No, however, the parties found a way to move forward for the next four years without a work stoppage that would have financially damaged the companies and the individual employees.


The Antiquated Railway Labor Act

When it was first passed into law in 1926 the Railway Labor Act (RLA) was designed to acknowledge that domestic rail transportation was a key element of the domestic commerce system; and as such, needed to be protected from an untimely work stoppage. That need still exists. Interruptions to any of the key means of domestic transportation (rail, trucking or air transport) can result not only significantly cripple the entire domestic economy, but also result in a lapse in defense capabilities.

However, the Railway Labor Act carries liabilities that need addressing. In its present form, reaching closure to collective bargaining agreement negotiations through the RLA almost always requires years of negotiations, and more often than not results in serious damage to the internal relations between companies and their represented workforce employees at air carriers, trucking carriers, railways. Simply put, the RLA needs a well-thought through revision.

Special Recognition

Salesforce and all of their female employees  

In the past we have tended to focus our Best/Worst eye only on companies and their organized labor workforces. This year, however, we have chosen to include a move by San Francisco-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) provider Salesforce that spanned their entire employee universe.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted over the years to establish that often females performing the same work as their male counterparts are paid significantly less. This year Salesforce decided to address that discrepancy within their workforce, and announced it spent $3 million (USD) to rectify a salary imbalance among its 16,000 employees.

See an expanded overview of the 2015 Best/Worst list at www.orginc.com

About Overland Resource Group
For over 30 years, Overland Resource Group has helped joint labor and management clients transform adversarial to collaborative relationships, enabling them to drive and sustain operational and work life improvements. The firm's clients have included The Boeing Company and the United Auto Workers, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and the United Steel Workers, the Federal Aviation Administration, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union, and many others.

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SOURCE Overland Resource Group