PARTNERSHIPS

On July 29th, an article in the Columbus Dispatch quoted Gov. Kasich about the decision of Calisolar to build a new plant in Mississippi instead of Mansfield. The Governor said,
“Calisolar’s going to Mississippi, (a) right-to-work (state), did you know that?” Kasich asked, “Eight hundred jobs in Mansfield. Forget it, we’re not interested. That doesn’t mean we have to (become a right-to-work state), it means we have to get everybody working in partnership.”
I applaud the Governor for talking about partnerships and not wanting to be a right-to-work state. Calling for partnerships is just a beginning. Working together is a long-term process about building relationships. Despite the beliefs of many people, labor and management working together is not new. They do it for all the reasons we highlighted in last week’s blog. They do it because they have more in common than not, including the need for survival.
So much can be done when everybody works together. It goes beyond partnerships.
When we train groups, we do an exercise called Win As Much As You Can. It is a very simple game of either choosing an “x” or a “y”. The game may be simplistic but the meaning of the game has great importance and it probably is one of the more popular exercises because it drives the point home about what can happen in a traditional organization versus a cooperative organization.
For some groups it may be difficult at first. It’s difficult because it takes patience. It’s learning how to relate. It may be starting a relationship all over and going back to zero but for those who do it and are committed to doing it, the rewards are endless. As one of our strong supporters has told us, “You learn to bond with each other.”
This doesn’t mean it’s just labor and management that can work together. It works great in a non-union environment, too. The Win As Much As You Can game is just as applicable there, too.
It isn’t the labeling of labor or management that makes people want to do this. It’s a philosophy, we sometimes say, but it becomes a way of working. It becomes part of the everyday job. It’s a way of life. It’s just a natural, basic belief of how we work together as people to get a job done.
After all, who wants to go to work and have heated arguments or fights or make demands and threats? Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Try working together. It’s much more peaceful and a lot more is accomplished.

About CALMC Blog

Columbus Area Labor-Management Committee is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to involving employers and employees to preserve jobs, resolve workplace issues, and promote labor-management cooperation. Visit our website at http://calmc.org
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