By Sally Klingel, Ann M. Martin
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Extra info for A Fighting Chance: New Strategies to Save Jobs and Reduce Costs
People felt alternately that management was using the threat of outsourcing and the CST process just to lower costs, or that the decision to outsource had already been made and that Xerox and the ACTWU 25 management was activating the CST only as a formality, because of the contractual agreement. Many workers also felt that they had already made work rule concessions to save money in the department and that management had mismanaged by allowing its costs to get so out of line with those of competitors.
The experience with the wire harness team prompted the union and management to alter the way in which CST recommendations would be implemented. Two procedural changes were made: first, a sixty-day response period was established to encourage the executive policy committee to make a timely decision on the team's proposals, and, second, Xerox and the ACTWU 23 two team representatives, one hourly, one salaried, were selected to oversee the changes that would take place. Although the second step was highly symbolic of the union's and management's commitment to CSTs, these two members represented only two of the three fabrication teams, turnings and extrusions.
Like the previous teams, the second wire harness team worked closely with its two internal advisers and with the steering committee. Compared with the first wire harness CST, however, team members felt somewhat hampered in their efforts to get information, especially technical resources, and to gain access to managers. The team atttibuted these problems partly to the fact that the CST was no longer a new and untried concept and less attention was therefore being paid to the teams. Top management had also changed since the first team had been formed, and the idea of establishing new bonds with the union through mechanisms such as a CST was not receiving as much emphasis.
A Fighting Chance: New Strategies to Save Jobs and Reduce Costs by Sally Klingel, Ann M. Martin