In the past few months, we have spent a great deal of time with worker transition committees. These are labor-management committees formed to help workers who are being downsized.
While the circumstances are unfortunate, the committees provide labor and management the opportunity to work together to help all impacted employees, both labor and management, at a time when they need assistance.
Worker transition committees (which are also called worker adjustment committees) do not find people jobs. They do provide information, training, and support so the employees can make informed decisions about how to find their next job, manage their finances, obtain training, and deal with the emotional stress the layoffs cause for them and their families.
The committees are part of the job retention process. One of the goals of layoff aversion is helping employees who are laid off to make their move to their next job as quickly as possible.
The need to get people back to work was driven home by data released last week by the Department of Labor. While the official jobless rate dropped by 0.1% to 9%, the true unemployment rate reached 23% (http://tinyurl.com/887p556). This value includes those who are marginally employed (working part-time because they cannot find full time employment), as well as those who have been out of work long enough to exhaust all benefits.
CALMC believes that by working together, labor and management can do great things. They can help find ways to keep organizations strong and avoid the need for layoffs. However, when downsizing becomes necessary, labor and management need to work as a team to help.
Very simply put, transition committees are the right thing to do. The circumstances are unfortunate for everyone, but neither labor nor management should ignore the opportunity to help.
Next week, we’ll take another look at worker transition committees.