In recent years, there have been significant increases in union concessions in wages, benefits, and work rules and in joint labor-management cooperative programs such as quality circles and quality-of-worklife programs. There has been some debate over whether these developments indicate a fundamental change in union-management relations or a temporary reaction to economic pressures. Economic adversity alone does not guarantee agreement on union concessions or improvements in the labor-management relationship. Better relations and concessions are more likely when management takes the initiative in instituting its own concessions and in implementing cooperative programs with the union. Cooperation also depends on the establishment of new unionmanagement communication mechanisms and a desire for improved relationships on the part of both the union and management leadership.
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