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Embracing the Future: Union Strategies for the 21st Century

Summary: A case study of the Hathaway Shirt Company's plant in Waterville, Maine, illustrates the value of an expanded role of unions in the long-term success of a business. When basic production cost-cutting was not enough to stave off the threat of closure, the union worked with management in nontraditional areas beyond the shop floor. Increasingly, unions are focusing on educating and retraining workers, research and development, contributing to management strategic decision making and ownership, capital and pension investment, and taking an industrial sector approach. Moving into the 21st century, unions will need to expand their activities to not only increase productivity but also to link productivity to worker involvement beyond the shop floor.

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  • Topics:
  • Keywords: Case study,Employee involvement (EI),Labor management partnerships,Textile and needle trades,Unions
  • Author: Lazes, Peter; Savage, Jane
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation