A Fighting Chance: New Strategies to Save Jobs and Reduce by Sally Klingel, Ann M. Martin

By Sally Klingel, Ann M. Martin

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Extra resources for A Fighting Chance: New Strategies to Save Jobs and Reduce Costs

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When management agreed to the formation of Hog's Helpers as an union-only team, it made a commitment to provide management resources. Managers in engineering, finance, planning, and plant engineering instructed staff to give Hog's Helpers what it needed. The UAW QWL coordinator took on the role of internal consultant, mediating 42 Harrison Radiator and the UA W between management and the union for consensus on process and expectations. In the view of the union members involved, he also pushed the departments that had needed information to provide it.

Implementation of the Changes The wire harness team presented its final report on July l, 1982, but it had to wait until March of the following year for the union and management to negotiate over the proposals that affected the contract. It was the end of 1984, two and a half years after submitting its report, before the last changes were implemented. This delay in implementation was partially the result of management turnover, but the lack of a planned mechanism to ensure that approved suggestions would be put into operation contributed to the problem.

In contrast, labor costs were 18 percent. The third proposal was to redesign a shipping container to hold more product, at a savings of $80,000. 5 million per year by the third year if an additional suggestion for a three-person salvage operation for dunnage materials was accepted. 2 million. Results The short-term positive results of the work of Hog's Helpers were evident almost immediately. The potential savings were presented to management in mid-October 1986. On October 30, management called a meeting in the distribution center cafeteria and, with no prior hint, announced its decision to keep the distribution center in-house.

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