Page 12


AII,American Income Life Insurance Company EXECUTIVE OFFICES: P.O. BOX 208, WACO, TEXAS 78703, 817-772-3050 BERNARD RAPOPORT Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer A Public Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance Co.Waco, TexasBernard Rapoport, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Management Concessions An Economic Imperative By Anthony Mazzocchi Mr. Mazzocchi is Special Assiitant to the President, District and Director of the Workers’ Policy Project. On June 11, 1982 in Philadelphia the OCAW District 8 Council, representing 30,000 workers, unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a campaign for management concessions. It is our firm belief that management, not working people, is directly responsible for the economic fear and suffering we face today. And we believe there will be no economic recovery for working people unless we force management to give up their one-sided control over all the key investment and production decisions that affect our economic well being. We Need: an end to management’s right to run away overseas; an end to their right to “milk” profitable companies into bankruptcy; an end to their right to devastate our communities through plant closings; an end to their right to squander investment funds on unnecessary mergers, wasteful supervision and sky-high salaries for themselves; and an end to their ability to divide us by discriminating against women and minorities. We are calling for this bold initiative from labor because we believe that the old ways of collective bargaining are no longer adequate. For years we have abided by an unwritten agreement with management: “You give us more in wages and benefits, and we’ll let you run the show.” And for years this deal seemed to pay off. We did gain higher wages and better benefits. Meanwhile management consolidated their control over investment and production decisions, embodied in the “management rights” clauses found in nearly all of our contracts. But those days are over. In today’s competitive world economy management is using their control to force givebacks and concessions. Instead of wage and benefit improvements they want to cut our contractual rights. And, if we refuse to accept their takeback demands, they threaten us with layoffs and shutdowns. That isn’t collective bargaining. It’s economic blackmail. But, worker concessions won’t save our jobs, revive our industries, or help the economy. Worker concessions won’t work because workers’ wages and benefits are not the problem. Data developed by the Workers’ Policy Project documents that American workers are not killing the economic goose that lays the golden eggs. \(This data is contained in the booklet, “It’s Time for Management Concessions,” published by the Workers’ Policy Project, 853 Broadway, Room 2014, New York, The truth is that the goose is being gobbled up by corporate mergers, plucked bare by greedy conglomerates, shipped overseas bit by bit, and supervised to death. In order to survive we must go on the offensive by challenging the fundamental assumptions of traditional collective bargaining. Rather than argue about how much to give away, we must raise new demands that challenge management’s right to make the vital production and investment decisions that affect our jobs and our communities. But Don’t We Need More Cooperation, Not Conflict? Many corporate leaders and “Atari Democrats” \(a widespread label for those politicians and economists who are calling for support of new high-tech “sunrise” industries, like computers, as opposed to old “sunset” industries like steel order to rebuild U.S. industry. They are advocating the establishment of a new government agency, similar to the New Deal Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which would make capital available for modernization. But these corporate proposals for cooperation are a mask for a more centralized version of the economic blackmail which corporations now exercise at the bargaining table. As one of their leading spokespersons, Felix Rohatyn put it: “We will have an entity which could say to Governors, ‘We have $2 billion to invest which we might make [available to you]. But first we need to make the following changes in the tax structure, or changes are needed in union work rules . . Because of the possibility of economic activity, the Governors will accept political change . . .” Al Watkins “Felix Rohatyn’s Biggest Deal,” Working Papers, Sept.-Oct. 1981 30 OCTOBER 28, 1983