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Unformatted text preview: Labor Relations Chapter 8 Technological Change and Job Protection- Technological change refers to changes in the production process that result from introduction of labor saving machinery and changes in material handling of workflow- Automation a type of technological change, goes one step further in that machines perform tasks that were performed by humans, and human operator is replaced by automatic controls.- Affects job by altering tasks or equipment used, the job skills required, pace or scheduling of work, job characteristics - Use of new technology is a means used by firms and nations to gain competitive advantage often introduction of new technology give competitive advantage for a short period of time because it will become available to competitors rapidly which will lessen competitive advantage- Long term competitive advantage = comes from workers applying it efficiently need to be trained and motivated- Tech. Change occurs in 3 phases o Development phase key choices about design and configuration of tech. is made o Resource allocation phase claims for resources presented by different organizational units and evaluated against performance criteria o Implementation phase new tech. constructed, put into service, modified if necessary- Implementation phase is when unions come into picture, because they want to protect jobs, they protect job interests of members by o Negotiating contract language o Lobbying for or against government legislation and assistance programs o Providing direct services to members- Hard for unions because current labor law classifies decisions of implementing new tech. nonmandatory bargaining subject limits unions role on EFFECTS OF TECHNOLOGY when they bargain- Some companies see advantages of involving union and employees in early stages of selecting new technology - when union is consulted early in technology development process, it more likely to become advocate for new tech. and will be able to secure fact that it will create more jobs than it threatens - practice of involving them is skill cross training - International Association of Mechanics (IAM) integrated program with employers with which union has bargaining relationship to create High Performance Work Organization (HPWO) capable of saving and creating jobs while remaining globally competitive and stimulating firm growth. o Any relationship created from mistrust, leaders on either side not committed to developing more cooperative relationship or leaders being insecure in own position - will inhibit technology change efforts. o For innovative work practices to be effective, upper management and union leaders must communicate commitment to cooperation to all employees in organization- Tech. change can have both positive or negative effect on employees, but union must represent members affected by both types of change....
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This note was uploaded on 06/29/2011 for the course MGT 3000 taught by Professor Murrmann during the Spring '11 term at Virginia Tech.
- Spring '11