Fashioning a New Social Contract for the American Workplace

  • Kenneth Chilton
  • Murray Weidenbaum

Abstract

In a speech to a national labor-management conference sponsored by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on June 8, 1994, then-House of Representatives Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) offered his “inside-the-beltway” view of the changing workplace. A few excerpts show that even those removed from the actual battleground of the private sector see that the workplace is changing dramatically:

We gather today at a time of growing uncertainty and anxiety in the American workplace.

The fact is our economy is changing in profound and permanent ways. We can’t protect ourselves from those changes. But we can prepare for them.... [W]e can define a new compact—a set of shaitd principles for management and labor....

Keywords

Starch Depression Income Expense Stake 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Kevin Salwen, “White House Puts Stress on Skills for Job Security,” Wall Street Journal, March 16, 1994, p. A2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    The New American Workplace: A Labor Perspective (Washington, D.C: AFL-CIO Committee on the Evolution of Work, February 1994), p. 8.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Ibid., p. 13.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Clifford J. Ehrlich, “Statement before the Commission for the Future of Worker-Management Relations,” February 24, 1994.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    This brave new world was the subject of a recent Fortune magazine article, for example. See William Bridges, “The End of the Job,” Fortune, September 19, 1994, pp. 62–74.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tom Brown, “Think in Reverse,” Industry Week, July 19, 1993.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Robert Shapiro, “The Uses of Adversity: Corporate Change in the Global Economy,” Price Waterhouse’s Distinguished Speakers Series, University of Missouri at St. Louis, March 15, 1994.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Minda Zetlin, “Can IBM Soften the Blow?”, Management Review, August, 1993, p. 25.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Laurie Hays, “IBM is Set to Lay Off 2,000 in PC Unit, Which Will Consolidate at Site in South,” Wall Street Journal, July 28, 1994, p. A3.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Joel Brockner, Mary Konovsky, Rochelle Cooper-Schneider, Robert Folger, Christopher Martin and Robert Bies, “Interactive Effects of Procedural Justice and Outcome Negativity on Victims and Survivors of Job Loss,” Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 37, No. 2, 1994, p. 406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Leonard Wong and Anne Davis, “Managing Work-Force Reduction with Incentives: The Effects of the Perceived Value of the Incentive and Incentive-Taker Exposure,” Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, August 8–11, 1993, p. 272.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Interestingly, the 1992 Right Associates survey found that only 6 percent of respondents tried reducing pay, 9 percent tried holidays without pay or shorter workweeks, and 14 percent tried job sharing instead of downsizing. Forty-three percent said employees learned about downsizing plans before official announcements and 44 percent of the firms gave less than one week’s notice before implementing the downsizing; “Right Associates Study Dispels Myths,” PR Newswire, March 9, 1992.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    As cited in “Inhuman Resources,” Across the Board, July/August 1994, p. 28.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    For a critical analysis of these programs see John F. Budd, Jr., “Pluses, Paradoxes and Problems of Work-Family Agendas,” presented at the Work and Family Council Spring Seminar, The Conference Board, April 13, 1994.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lena Williams, “Childless Workers Demanding Equity In Corporate World,” New York Times, May 19, 1994, p. 22.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    “Inhuman Resources,” p. 28.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Managing Organizational Change: How Leading Organizations Are Meeting the Challenge (Cambridge, Mass.: Arthur D. Little, Inc., 1994), p. 8.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ibid., p. 5.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid., p. 11.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yankelovich, “Corporate Logic in the 1990s.”Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Brian O’Reilly, “The New Deal: What Companies and Employees Owe One Another,” Fortune, June 13, 1994, p. 47.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    As cited in “Inhuman Resources,” p. 27.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ibid., p. 29.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    From an address presented on March 24, 1994 to alumni and students of the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ronald Henkoff, “Getting Beyond Downsizing,” Fortune, January 10, 1994, p. 64.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Chilton
  • Murray Weidenbaum

There are no affiliations available

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