Category Archives: Labor / Management Cooperation

Dancing With the Bear: Lessons From Labor-Management Cooperation

The classic analogy fits:  union and management learning to cooperate is a lot like learning to dance with a bear—you don’t quit just because you get tired.  And in most cases—in the US paper industry at least—neither party is quite sure which one’s the bear.

We set out to see what we could learn about the labor-management dance taking place within the U.S. paper industry–an industry that’s seen more than its share of turmoil.  We set out to discover what unions and management have learned from the dance:  How many started dancing together?  Why did they start?  What issues might have interrupted or stopped them?  Has the dance been worth the time and effort invested?  And, of course, have they kept dancing?  We aimed to learn what we could from the real experience of labor and management in the U.S. paper industry. Continue reading