Aftermath: Expect Short-Lived Labor Peace

Compiled By Michael A. Verespej Any labor-management cooperation or peace that surfaces in the aftermath of last month's terrorist attacks will be extremely short-lived, says Stephen J. Cabot, chairman of the labor department at Harvey, Pennington, Cabot, Griffith & Renneisen Ltd., Philadelphia. "The bottom line and the sense of what goes into [worker] pocketbooks will still prevail," says Cabot, "because management is still inept and apathetic" to worker pleas to be treated with "dignity and respect." Cabot says that he expects job security and layoff agreements to continue to be the top two negotiating-table issues and that the prevailing adversarial relationship will continue because unions need bigger and better contracts in order to organize more successfully. It's Cabot's view that any "new" cooperation that surfaces will be related more to "a clear recognition by unions and employees that companies are hurting and that the economy has gone to hell in a handbasket. Any change in attitude will be driven by fear, loss of jobs, and job security," he says.

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