Out of the Ashes: Options for Rebuilding Airline Labor Relations

24 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2003

See all articles by Thomas A. Kochan

Thomas A. Kochan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Andrew von Nordenflycht

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Robert B. McKersie

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Jody Hoffer Gittell

Brandeis University - The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Date Written: March 2003

Abstract

The crisis in the airline industry and its labor relations system creates a window of opportunity to introduce changes that are essential to successful industry recovery. This paper summarizes the results of our research on labor relations conducted as part of the MIT Global Airline Industry Project and proposes a set of improvement initiatives. We recommend that (1) companies negotiate a recovery compact with its employees that includes plans for improving the workplace culture and climate and for expediting and resolving collective bargaining contract negotiations, (2) government leaders specify a window of time for industry and labor leaders to agree on changes needed in the Railway Labor Act, (3) the National Mediation Board engage industry and labor leaders in a process of transforming the agency's role to support the changes needed in the industry, and (4) industry, labor, and government leaders create a forum to support mutual learning and improvement.

Keywords: Labor Relations, U.S. Airline Industry

Suggested Citation

Kochan, Thomas A. and von Nordenflycht, Andrew and McKersie, Robert B. and Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Out of the Ashes: Options for Rebuilding Airline Labor Relations (March 2003). MIT Sloan Working Paper No. 4301-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=395452 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.395452

Thomas A. Kochan (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E52-583
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6689 (Phone)
617-253-7696 (Fax)

Andrew Von Nordenflycht

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Colombia V5A 1S6
Canada

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Robert B. McKersie

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E52-536
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-2671 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)

Jody Hoffer Gittell

Brandeis University - The Heller School for Social Policy and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 549110/MS 035
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02454
United States

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