High Performance Work Organization Partnerships

To remain competitive in the global marketplace an organization must use every available resource-especially the insights and experience of front-line workers. In most organizations, however, the primary focus is a low-wage, offshore strategy. Generally this strategy is used by corporations still clinging to top-down, command-and-control work systems. These organizations promote worker “empowerment” to achieve improvements in productivity, but fail to address real workplace change. This strategy may substantially increase the “bottom line” in the short run, but may have little effect on increased market share and growth of the business in the long run. From the worker”s point of view this strategy generally means job loss.

In response to this strategy, IAM members, their leaders and management, in a variety of work sites across the U.S. and Canada, are creating innovative work systems that target and achieve the mutually beneficial goals of expanding business growth while saving and creating jobs. These new systems are called High Performance Work Organization Partnerships.

IAM High Performance Work Organization Partnerships are proactive alternatives to quality circles and all the other “participatory” programs that management attempted to force upon IAM members in the past. Together, IAM members and their employers are successfully changing the workplace culture. Through joint consensus decisions around the vital functions of the workplace, the partners commit to grow the business, more accurately measure and reduce costs, and improve the work processes in order to save and create jobs.

HPWO’s require a long term commitment, by both partners, to continuous education and communication. This degree of workplace change requires that employees, wall-to-wall, are supported both from the union and management. The result is a distinct advantage over all other so-called “participatory” programs.