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union propaganda
the workers are spoiled


Management is also looking for dollar caps on company benefit contributions to health care plans. It is my view that as the population starts growing older, the health care costs are going to skyrocket. Companies are paying 100% of everything under the sun because they bought into 100% or 80% of dental when the costs were not exorbitant. Companies are now saying we want a cap on it. We don't mind paying to a certain level, but we are not going to give a blank cheque for health for the next 50 or 60 years.

What the companies are also looking for, and this is the key elements as far as your industry is concerned, is very limited job ownership and they want to increase flexibility. I'll be talking to you in a few minutes about why you should worry about the pace of change. Remember, in most of these cases those job jurisdictions have been around for eons. I mean1 I can't trace them back to how long there have been trade guidelines around and I can't trace back how long there has been job jurisdictions in the construction industry and in other industries as well. What happens is management comes in (management at the senior levels) and says those barriers between jobs - let's create a utility journeyman rate and let's assign work as we see fit, or let's create a flexible operator rate and let's assign work as we see fit.

Well, whether it is legitimate or not, the workers are spoiled. The workers are spoiled in terms of their buying sense. You have to change your buying sense overnight. If you were giving certain things to your family and then overnight you have to say - that privilege has ended.

You have to condition it, and that is all I am preaching to companies, you have to condition it slowly.

Companies are also looking for flexible work rules and practices and semi-autonomous work groups. We all went through those training courses in which we get punched out with empowerment and re-engineering and all the other "Buzz Words", whatever one is new today. Usually, about 10 o'clock each morning, some consultant comes up with a new word for what we mean as delegation and giving people more responsibility. There has to be a 'buzz word' for it - you have go out and talk to your troops and "Cascade Out". That is the newest one -you have to "Cascade Out" your ideas. Somebody saw a cascading waterfall and they figured instead of just saying "you've got to educate your people - you've got to push along to them, and press along to them your ideas about empowerment. No, no you've got to 'cascade it out'. So don't every say "I'm going to talk to the guys and I'm going to talk to them about new changes", say "I'm going to 'cascade out' my ideas, my reflections".

Now, what of the unions. Well, the unions proposal, as I said, is to enhance job security. They are scared. They're scared with the new management that's out there. New management right across every industry that are trying to get a competitive environment where do they attack - they don't attack capital expenditures, they don't attack elsewhere. What management usually does (and this is the union's propaganda) is attack collective agreements and the number of unionized employees, on the basis that we can do it better with less. So... the unions are concerned about job security.

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