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Improving Labor Relations in Jamestown

This four-page case study (2014) from The Intersector Project outlines about how cross-sector collaboration was used to create Jamestown Area Labor Management Committee (JALMC) to improve labor relations in Jamestown, New York.

From the Intersector Project

Shortly after Stan Lundine took office as mayor of Jamestown in 1970, the city’s unemployment rate had reached 10.2 percent – over twice the national average. In 1971, nearly 1,000 workers were unemployed and an additional 2,800 jobs were in jeopardy as the largest company in town closed their doors. The contentious relationship between local unions and businesses had further damaged Jamestown’s reputation as an attractive place for manufacturers, driving away new businesses that may have otherwise invested in the city and revitalized its suffering economy. Drawing on all of his available resources – from his personal network and reputation in Jamestown, to his political leadership and ability to secure federal funding – Stan developed the Jamestown Area Labor Management Committee (JALMC) as a way to mediate labor disputes. With the additional leadership of John Eldred, a consultant who understood the dynamics of factories and labor relations, the JALMC’s programs expanded into individual plants, focusing on worker engagement, skills development, and programs to increase productivity. The success of the JALMC model not only improved working conditions in Jamestown, but also attracted new investments from national manufacturers. Within three years of the JALMC’s launch, unemployment in Jamestown had dropped to 4.2 percent, and new incentives had increased worker productivity and quality of work-life.IP_Jamestown“I think if there’s a lesson to be learned, assume there is a network, find and locate them, and then explore what the goal confluence is between what you want and what their networks want… that’s just good politics to me.”– John Eldred, Jamestown Area Labor Management Committee

This case study, authored by The Intersector Project, tells the story of this initiative.

More about The Intersector ProjectThe Intersector Project
The Intersector Project is a New York-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to empower practitioners in the government, business, and non-profit sectors to collaborate to solve problems that cannot be solved by one sector alone. We provide free, publicly available resources for practitioners from every sector to implement collaborative solutions to complex problems. We take forward several years of research in collaborative governance done at the Center for Business and Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School and expand on that research to create practical, accessible resources for practitioners.

Follow on Twitter @theintersector.

Resource Link: http://intersector.com/case/laborrelations_newyork/ (Download the case study PDF here.)

This resource was submitted by Neil Britto, the Executive Director at The Intersector Project via the Add-a-Resource form.

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