Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Union/Management Relations
The Department of Energy (DOE), Oak Ridge Operations provides a good example of successful labor-management relations. In 1988, Total Quality (TQ) efforts were initiated with Joint Training Retreats where labor and management assembled to determine differences and similarities and how to apply new solutions to continuing problems. These small groups from both sides began to work as teams. Other actions, particularly those related to production floor TQ measurement such as statistical process control and concurrent engineering, had been in place for years, but had not been applied to the personnel and values areas. The unions then began participating on benchmarking teams to illustrate one of the TQ continuous improvement tools.
The current TQ focus remains a driving force behind union-management relations and has been accepted by union leaders and most members. The 18 different unions spearheaded by the Atomic Trades and Labor Council are using TQ to not only work "smarter" to keep jobs, but also to consistently improve health and safety and community outreach at Oak Ridge.
The Oak Ridge Health and Safety Tripartite Program of DOE/Union/Management has become the National Labor Relations Board model for all other DOE facilities, as well as other companies having numerous on-site unions.
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