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CATERPILLAR INC.'S EXPERIENCE WITH EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THE NORM IN THE UNIONIZED WORKPLACE

 CINCINNATI, Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- A front-page article in the Wall Street Journal, Nov. 23, about Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc. curtailing its employee involvement programs due to conflicts with the United Auto Workers prompted employee involvement expert Edward Cohen- Rosenthal to caution that unions and employee involvement programs do not have to be at odds.
 According to the article, Caterpillar's successful employee involvement programs, particularly those at its Aurora, Ill. plant, were the victims of management~union strife.
 "Caterpillar shows both the promise and the pitfalls of implementing employee involvement programs," said Cohen-Rosenthal, an instructor for the Cincinnati-based non-profit Association for Quality and Participation (AQP), which specializes in employee involvement education and resources. "Companies and unions that work together can be stronger, can have higher quality, and compete in the global market.
 "What Caterpillar shows is that they didn't sustain the programs long enough, didn't make them broad enough, and they didn't strategically position management and unions together to meet their common challenges," said Cohen-Rosenthal, who is also a faculty member of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
 Through the Association for Quality and Participation, Cohen- Rosenthal teaches a course entitled: "Transforming the Unionized Workplace."
 Both AQP and Cohen-Rosenthal have seen a large increase in interest in courses and materials dealing with transforming the unionized workplace.
 "Employee involvement is a critical strategy for unions to build a competitive America," said Cohen-Rosenthal, author of the book "Mutual Gains: A Guide to Union-Management Cooperation" and a former assistant to the president of the International Union of Bricklayers.
 The Association for Quality and Participation, with close to 10,000 members, is a renowned world-wide resource dedicated to the continuous improvement of quality through participation, human growth, and organizational effectiveness.
 Founded in 1977 to help companies implement quality circles, AQP has expanded its scope of services to encompass virtually every aspect of the exploding quality and participation movement.
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 ~EDITOR'S NOTE: For information about AQP and names of companies that have participated in Cohen-Rosenthal's course, "Transforming the Unionized Workplace," please contact Sandra Feder or Bill Brewer at AQP, 513-381-1959~
 ~CONTACT: Bill Brewer, APR, 513-381-1959, or 513-523-8021, after hours, or Sandra Feder, 513-381-1959, or 513-948-1919, after hours, both of the Association for Quality and Participation~


CO: Association for Quality and Participation ST: Ohio IN: SU:

BM -- CL021 -- 1177 11~24~92 15:20 EST
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Date:Nov 24, 1992
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