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A discussion of the measures taken by the steel industry in general, and US Steel and the USWA in particular, to increase efficiency while minimizing layoffs. The author advocates the use of arbitration to ensure that new productivity standards are fairly implemented.

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The article traces the collective bargaining history in the Steel industry, leading up to the 1993 agreement which brought the Union and its members into the operational decision-making process. The author advocates that management furnish fuller and more timely information to the union, and not use partnership committees to bypass the established union structure.

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A review of “justice and dignity” clauses in collective-bargaining agreements and the parties’ experiences under those provisions. Concerns about excessive grievance and arbitration activity have proven unfounded.

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A discussion of parties’ successful experience with the “justice and dignity” provisions of the Continental Packaging Co./USWA collective bargaining agreement. A mature labor-management relationship, an expanding economy, and focus on problem-solving are cited as reasons for the success.

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Updating arbitration

Author Fisher maintains that the arbitration process is too confrontational, and that centralized control and authority must give way to more local control. He describes the United Steel Workers Union and various steel companies expedited arbitration panels as examples. He contends that Arbitrators should not be viewed as judges in technical, arm’s-length disputes between strangers …

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