[Excerpt]Early union advocates of quality of worklife (QWL) programs envisioned a movement to reform the workplace and to re-educate management to recognize and reward workers for their intelligence, resourcefulness and skills. Today QWL has become almost synonymous with labor-management cooperation, a national campaign whose stated goal is economic revitalization of U.S. industries. According to business and government, cooperation is a prerequisite for restoring the United States' economic fortunes.
Unions are being pressured to commit personnel and resources to promote QWL. While emphasizing mutuality of interests, business has in practice been more persuasive in its use of economic blackmail. On the one hand, corporations promise increased employee participation and a more satisfying work environment. On the other hand, they warn unions that any reluctance on their part to cooperate could translate into plant closures and "union-avoidance" programs.
"Quality of Worklife from a Labor Perspective: A Review Essay on Inside the Circle,"
Labor Research Review:
7, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/lrr/vol1/iss7/2