YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES: NATURAL ALLIES?

From the desk of Steve Cabot: One of the few positives coming out of the disastrous economy of the past several years is the reëvaluation of priorities by those on both sides of the management-labor divide. It’s been interesting to watch how struggling to survive encourages compromise and consensus, and how it’s mostly politicians and union leaders who cling to partisan agendas, almost always for their own personal inurement.

The fact is, while the perspectives of employers and their workers will necessarily be somewhat different, they really are – or should be – natural allies. Both will have issues of self-interest, but neither can succeed without the other. This basic truth has been the driver in the strategic advice I have been giving clients for decades.

The foundational feature of any win/win workplace is good communication: listening well and articulating clearly. Running a close second is trust:   keeping one’s word and telling the truth. With those two in place as operating principles, coöperation is a natural outcome, whether in a union or nonunion environment.

Unfortunately, not everyone favors comity over contention. It’s dismaying to see many in positions of leadership choosing to incite division as a way of retaining power – all while claiming to represent the “interest of the people.”

Perhaps the most visible example is the recall election in Wisconsin, where a governor who has kept his campaign promise to bring reform to his state is being pilloried by Democrats and their thuggish union accomplices. The good news, however, is the public – and even the liberal press – seems to be wising up. The polls are encouraging, and we’ll know on June 5th whether Scott Walker will have a mandate to pursue his pro-growth policies.

I certainly hope that’s the outcome, as it will set a powerful example for those trying to do the right things to right this ship of state.

UPDATE (JUNE 6, 2012)

In face of massive push-back by Organized Labor, Wisconsin voters reconfirmed their support of Scott Walker and his performance as governor. It was gratifying to read that about a third of union households voted yesterday to retain him as the state's chief executive, putting jobs and a balanced budget over lockstep obedience to their leadership.

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GROUNDHOG DAY: THE UNFUNNY VERSION

In the 1993 romantic comedy, “Groundhog Day,” weatherman Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray, was forced to live through the same dreadful 24 hours, again and again, where nothing changed – until he did. Central to the plot was that only he was aware of this repetitive phenomenon; everyone else was totally oblivious. It was an amusing film and did well at the box office. Unfortunately, employers – and the rest of America – are being forced to live through a darker, more sinister version of this movie, one in which the lead character continues to push his Big Labor “change” agenda without regard to constitutional restrictions or political precedent. Unlike the original, however, we are all very much aware of what’s going on – only nobody’s laughing, except union leaders and their allies.

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SPECIAL REPORT: THE BIG LABOR STRANGLEHOLD

If you’re interested in learning more about the state of Organized Labor today and its impact on our economy, I invite you to read a compelling special report just released by Human Events entitled, “THE BIG LABOR STRANGLEHOLD: Killing Jobs & Hurting America.” Written by Dr. Carl F. Horowitz, project manager for the National Legal and Policy Center, this 26-page report looks beyond the well-publicized but misleading statistics about declining union membership and documents the strategies, goals, impact, and prospects of Big Labor in America. To receive your complimentary copy, simply click on the link provided in the current blog to go to the Human Events website. Once you register, a pdf version of the report will be sent directly to the email address you specify.

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