[Excerpt] It has been a challenging year for labor relations in the United States. Workers experienced heightened concern for their personal financial situations and job security. Management focused intensely on competitiveness issues and the resources needed to weather a global financial crisis.
Faced with intense global competition, many U.S. companies have moved to low cost off-shore operations. And the perilous financial conditions have caused other U.S. companies to downsize, dramatically increasing unemployment numbers in this country. Given the confluence of global competition and financial unrest, not surprisingly we have noted an increase in labor-management tension at the bargaining table. Negotiations have become more stressful and challenging.