W-P-G provides labor and employee relations consulting support to clients having either union or non-union workforces. With over 35 years in labor relations, human resources and employment law positions, W-P-G principals have handled all phases of the employee and union relationship, and we have experience in a broad array of industries. W-P-G can enhance your labor relations and employee relations program in several ways:
- Serving as chief negotiator, or as a consultant to negotiating committees during negotiations;
- Selecting the best possible labor contract negotiating team;
- Providing pre-negotiation research on competitive wages, hours, and working conditions;
- Developing contract objectives and developing the strategy and tactics to achieve intended results;
- Preparing, drafting and costing company proposals;
- Analyzing and costing union proposals;
- Developing internal and external communication pieces;
- Fact finding investigations for grievances or employee complaints;
- Preparing position statements for administrative charges; and
- Developing and advancing legislative positions relating to labor relations policy
In labor negotiations, there is no substitute for preparation. Success at the bargaining table is nearly always proportionate to advance preparation. Preparing well means having thoroughly analyzed the interests, strengths, and vulnerabilities from the perspective of both sides of the table. Most importantly, it means having the facts. Effective negotiating often requires that substantial research on wages, benefits, and workplace practices be assembled quickly and then presented persuasively. Persuasive presentation means conveying information within the context of your organization's operating and economic realities so that the parties are on the same financial page.
Typically, negotiation preparation begins months before kicking off formal negotiations. Putting the right negotiating team together is crucial. Strategic listening that cuts through posturing and rhetorical banter to identify the union's real priorities will save many hours of frustration at the table. Finally, successful negotiations require knowing when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, and when the walk away from the table.
Successful labor relations requires adopting a balanced, strategic view. W-P-G always focuses on ensuring that management preserves the rights and prerogatives it needs to run the organization effectively. At the same time, however, we believe that running the organization effectively means adopting constructive workplace practices, whether in the labor negotiations arena or otherwise, where everyone is invested and engaged in organizational success.
Even amidst tough bargaining, W-P-G believes successful labor relations programs are defined by transparency, fostering inclusion, and maintaining free-flowing, honest communication that supports trusting relationships. Over the long haul, we believe this approach to labor negotiations produces greater productivity, shared achievement, and higher workforce morale.