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Six Sigma and Labor Unions

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  • #27506

    walden
    Participant

    I’m looking for information, positive or negative, regarding implementing DMAIC projects in a union environment.

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    #67530

    Craig T.
    Participant

    Chris,
    Do you do any best practice sharing with GE. I used to work with their Industrial Systems business and know that they deal with the Union every 3 years or so (to renogotiate their contracts). I would put money that they’ve run their process through six sigma to ensure no “defects” occur. It’s worth a call over to someone there.
    Craig

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    #67532

    Murray
    Participant

    This is easy. Treat people with respect, be honest, and do what you say you will do. The union part does not matter.
     
    Do you know why companies have unions?

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    #67533

    Praneet
    Participant

    Hi
    I have had a fabulous experience in getting DMAIC projects done with the Union Members (and we did have a very strong Union). We went through the same frustration of getting people to start doing DMAIC projects… but tell me one thing isnt that what we as Six Sigma practitioners go through getting even the Management team to do projects.. well we did have the typical resistance to this change . But the way we went about generating enthusiasm and participation was by creating an environment of fun and recognition around the whole program … the results were astounding , we had union members approaching us for projects for mentoring them and so on and so forth..
    I could go on and on but have to end here .. One takeaway from my side..Direct your efforts towards Change Management , Create an environment of fun and recognition and everything else will fall in place
     
    Cheers

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    #67541

    Eoin Barry
    Participant

    Unions  are an important stake holder and can have a strong postive or negative impact. A lot depends on your organisational structure and the  credibility of your policy makers.
    If anything my experience of change management (both in six sigma and lean manufacturing) has taught me that each situation is unique and that business units have different cultures – even though they may be in the same organisation. A credible individual needs to determine policy  and then consistently stick to it.
    The greatest challenge is in overcoming the fear of change, having said that the inertia surrounding change has its roots in everything from parochial slef interest to ignorance.
    It is crucial that the management do everything in their power to allay those fears through education and recognition.
    One of the key levers is language and the vocabulary of six sigma can induce fear. I suggest you take steps to explain the terminology involved and its origan.
    Six sigma is or can be used as a reengineering tool (a dirty word in industrial relations). One of the deliverables is that it allows the organisation to redeploy resources as a result of increased process reliabiltiy. If this redeployment = redunancy and this is where your cost saving is coming from then very special attention needs to be given to you industrial relations.   
    Some suggestions:
    1. Tie six sigma in with  the self interest of the stake holder through organisational performance related reward and recognition.
    2. Include the unions early on.
    3. If possible train shop floor black belts/ green belts.
    Best of luck in your efforts, would love to hear how you get on.

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    #67561

    walden
    Participant

    Eoin,
    Thanks for your reply.  I think your comments were spot on.  We’re rolling out six sigma globally in a hospitality environment.  While hotels aren’t exactly the same as the factory floor, we do have some areas where our union workers may view cycle-time reductions as threatening. 
    Regards,
    Chris 

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    #67562

    walden
    Participant

    Thanks for your comment. Are you working in a union environment now? Did you encounter zero resistance? If so, how did you present six sigma? What kind of communication methods did you use? Any detail would be much appreciated

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    #67563

    walden
    Participant

    Do you have any contact names, numbers?

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