What Trump and Pelosi can learn from a different kind of shutdown that crippled the nation – Tom Kochan, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld

MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Kochan

MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Kochan

From The Conversation

Two sides of a dispute are at an impasse.

Both refuse to negotiate until the other side gives in to their central demand, with no reason to compromise. Animosity between the parties deepens as they hurl personal insults. The stalemate seems intractable as public costs mount.

While this may sound like it’s describing the government shutdown, it’s also what happens during an unsanctioned job action – sometimes called a “wildcat strike” – in which workers walk out or slow down work over a serious disagreement with management. The company won’t negotiate until the “illegal” action ends, while the workers want a solution to their core issues first.

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Give federal workers a voice to break the impasse – Thomas Kochan

MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Kochan

MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Kochan

From The Hill 

One of the most dismaying aspects of President Trump’s speech on Saturday was that he showed total disregard for the federal workers and contractors who are not getting paid even though some of them are required to work, others are not able to go to work and some are neither working nor will ever get paid for the time lost.

It is time for all federal workers and contractors, and indeed for the American public they serve, to stand up and say enough is enough: Stop holding these workers hostage to a political impasse that good faith negotiations could easily resolve.

Federal employees may need to raise their own voices to make this happen. They should demand an immediate end to the shutdown and perhaps tak a play from the Google employees’ playbook and call for a day of action if the shutdown continues.

Moreover, like the Google employees, federal workers should demand a seat at the table in negotiations over how to best solve our border security and immigration problems once and for all.

This would be consistent with a basic principle of employment relations we study and teach and that wise managers and labor leaders know and practice: Those closest to the problem know the most about what additional supports they need to do their jobs well.

So here is an outline of a proposal I would urge the federal workforce to make.

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