RP was enlisted by a leading national aviation manufacturer as it prepared for more than 3,600 members of the International Machinists and Aeropspace Workers Union (IAM) to return to work following an eight-week strike. After decades of a union-dominated environment, the company wanted to utilize the return-to-work milestone as an opportunity to reinforce expectations around safety and work rules. The company also wanted to empower and equip front-line supervisors to enforce the new expectations and rules with their union workforce – not a simple task after years of union control.
Our team facilitated focus groups with various levels of management to learn about the culture, employee sentiment, union/management dynamics and the underlying causes of the prolonged strike. Armed with the research findings, we developed both immediate and long-term recommendations on ways to improve internal communications, employee morale and overall relations between union and management representatives. We also developed a training program to educate front-line supervisors about communications best practices and empower them to effectively lead and manage the returning union employees.