Virginia Labor Studies Center

2001-2002 Annual Report

 
 

 

VCU-School of Business

1015 Floyd Avenue, Suite 1113

Richmond, Virginia 23284-4000

(804) 828-7484 / 1-(800)-793-VLSC

vlsc@vcu.edu

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS AND STAFF

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR

SUMMARY REPORT
            Goals and Results
            Marketing Activities
            Education Programs
            Research and Publications
            Grants and Special Projects

APPENDICES

 APPENDIX A - EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

 APPENDIX B – RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS

 

 

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Kemper W. Baker, Jr.
Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Calvin Jamison,
City Manager
City of Richmond

Edwin E. Blanks
Vice-Provost

Academic Administration
Virginia Commonwealth University
James R. Leaman
Secretary-Treasurer

VA State AFL-CIO

C. Ray Davenport
Commissioner
VA Dept. of Labor and Industry

Oscar Giles
President

BCTGM, Local 203T
Phillip Morris USA

Linda Derr
Human Resources Manager
Dupont Advanced Fibers Systems

Ed Price
Director – Labor Relations

Dominion Resources Services, Inc.
Michael R. Earman
Vice President

United Food & Commercial Workers
Union Local 400
David L. Rineer
Director of Labor Relations & Human Resources
Northrop Grumman Newport News

 

CENTER STAFF

Dr. Robert R. Trumble, Director Tracy A. Jolley, Program Coordinator
John T. Hutton, Program Manager Angela DeLowell, Research Associate
Greg Lawson, Coordinator, VEES Cicily Marshall, Research Associate
 

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR


     The past year and the foreseeable future will be difficult financial times for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  This has a direct impact on the Virginia Labor Studies Center (VLSC) because the bulk of its budget comes from the State, with the support of the State Legislature and the Governor.  At the same time that labor/management relations are strained by the downturn in the economy, the State must reduce its support for programs that strengthen these relationships.  Last year our budget was reduced and the coming year the budget will be cut twenty-five percent.  This is typical of virtually all university related centers in the state.  The VLSC understands that when state revenues decline we must all share the burden but it is unfortunate that it comes at the time that our services are most needed.   In spite of the financial difficulties, we have still had an excellent year, as reflected in the following highlights.  However, the big cuts are just now being made.  We will operate with fewer students and consultants, less travel, and materials.

Dr. Trumble

Dr. Robert Trumble, Director
Virginia Labor Studies Center

     We will continue to work closely with the Department of Labor and Industry, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), labor and management organizations, and individual companies and unions.  More than ever, we will embark on joint efforts with those who are engaged in strengthening labor/management relations.  In particular, we will assist those who wish to apply for grants and contracts from the State, localities, foundations, non-profits, and the Federal Government.  The VLSC continues to seek partners in education, training and research in areas that will enhance labor/management relations.

     In the coming year we expect to conduct research for the Virginia Office of Commerce and Trade, conduct educational programs with the Department of Labor and Industry and the VEC, and hold collaborative training programs throughout the state.  In addition, we will complete research on health care benefits (the movement from defined benefits to defined contributions), the temporary work sector, and labor/management cooperation.  Last year eight articles were either published or accepted for journal publication.  This year it is likely that the volume will be reduced but the quality will continue.



GOALS AND RESULTS

In this, our ninth-year of operations, we continued to provide education, research and service activities in labor-management relations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  We expanded our visibility throughout the Commonwealth through the enhancement of marketing materials and increased marketing activities.  Our goals of maintaining high quality educational programs and research have remained consistent throughout our tenure.  An indication of quality programs is evident by organizations that invite us to provide additional programs and recommend our services to others.  It is also evident when academic and trade publications continually publish our papers.  This year was no exception.   

The sections that follow describe the activities of the Center for the 2000-2001 fiscal year.  These activities were developed in response to discussions with members of our advisory board, human resources and labor relations representatives, and the Virginia Commonwealth University administration.

Marketing Activities

We continue to focus on marketing the Center as a vehicle for quality training and research in labor/management relations.  This year we extended our marketing efforts with the numerous group and individual presentations with management and labor representatives throughout Virginia.  We also released a vibrant new brochure that highlights the center’s mission and experience.

An informational newsletter was published semi-annually this year.  This publication summarizes the activities of the center and highlights upcoming workshops and research projects.  Special attention is given to ongoing projects and collaborative activities with other organizations.

We participated in the 2001 Virginia State SHRM Conference.  Many sessions were attended covering training and development and employment law.  Attorneys and human resource professionals discussed recent developments in federal and state employment law,  alternative dispute resolution, training, and employee terminations.

Annual EEO Day Conference sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Richmond.  The theme of the conference was the changing workforce and featured presentations on managing multiple generations, compensation issues during uncertain times and diversity.  The Honorable Viola Baskerville of the Virginia House of Delegates, discussed diversity during a keynote address.

Our staff participated in the Governor’s Workforce Leadership Conference, sponsored by the Virginia Workforce Council.  The theme of the conference was linking economic and workforce development to meet the challenges of Virginia’s changing economy.  Many workshops focused on high-tech recruitment, telecommuting, apprenticeship programs, industry clusters and the local workforce investment boards.

We attended a seminar sponsored by the University of Richmond on “Organizing Women Workers” a discussion by Doris Crouse-Mays, State Director of Virginia AFL-CIO.  One topic of discussion was the unionization of service industries and organizations that predominantly employ women.  Additionally, the ratio of women to men workers in the United States as well as the continued gender disparities in areas such as workplace advancement and compensation and benefits were presented.  Emphasis was given on steps that labor organizers focus on to include more women workers in collective action.

Our staff attended the 2001 Conference on Virginias’ Future sponsored by the Coalition for Virginia’s Future. The Commonwealth’s budget issues overshadowed this years’ conference.  There were however, some bright spots.   Some of which were present in the panel presentation on Uniting  for a Common Goal which explored a range of solutions for addressing Virginia’s strategic needs, and during Governor Mark Warner’s remarks.

Our staff participated in  the “Educating Virginia’s Workforce” seminar sponsored by the Virginia Department of Business Assistance.  Panel discussions included presentations by representatives of public and private educational institutions, as well as individuals from Infineon Technologies and Northrop Grumman Newport News.  Michael Schewel, Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade gave the keynote address, which focused on the administration’s commitment to developing a high-skilled workforce.  He also expressed a greater emphasis for vocational and technical education, including apprenticeship programs through the Department of Labor and Industry.

In an effort to become more integrated in current labor/management concerns and be able to offer the most timely assistance possible, we attended several monthly Central Labor Council meetings across the Commonwealth.  Additionally, we setup an information table at the Virginia State AFL-CIO Legislative Conference.  Labor representatives from across the Commonwealth received materials on the Center’s activities and asked questions regarding future programs.

 

Education Programs

The Center facilitated several education programs during the 2001-2002 fiscal year. Weingarten Rights Seminar Our programs consisted of both open-enrollment and organization-tailored programs.  The emphases on these sessions were improving labor/management relations through communication, occupational safety and health issues, and employment law.   

Our staff worked with various organizations throughout the year, including the Communications Workers of America Local 2260, Dan River Industries, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and the Virginia State AFL-CIO.  A summary of these programs is listed in Appendix A.

 

Research and Publications

            Our staff continues to conduct research that focuses on significant issues which human resources and labor relations professionals encounter every day.  As in the past, many of our papers are published in leading professional trade and academic journals.  This year our research focused on CEO performance, employee stock ownership plans and retirement benefits education.

This year we have experienced a growth in our research. Angela DeLowell and Bob Trumble authored two articles on connecting CEO performance to corporate performance.  One of these articles examines the issue on a national level while the second addresses international organizations.  Greg Lawson and Bob Trumble authored an article that looks at the significance of behavioral finance and employee financial education for retirement.  A detailed list of our research activities is located in Appendix B.

 

Grants and Special Projects

            Our staff continued to work on three major projects this past fiscal year.  They were the Department of Labor and Industry’s annual VOSH conference, a co-sponsored symposium with the University of Richmond that focused on the FTAA, and a joint venture with Solomon Smith Barney on retirement planning.

       We assisted with the coordination of the annual Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Conference.  John serves on the planning committee for this conference, which provides safety and health education for Virginia’s employers, employees, and safety and health professionals.  This year’s session topics included:  Virginia labor laws, job safety analysis and voluntary protection program applications.

      The Center co-sponsored “The Changing Labor Markets of the Western Hemisphere” symposium with the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond.  This forum focused on the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas and was attended by over 250 individuals and provided opportunityThe Changing Labor Markets of the Western Hemisphere symposium for discussion with representatives on both sides of the issue.

The keynote speaker was Mr. Richard W. Fisher former Trade Ambassador to Asia, Latin America and Canada. Mr. Fisher discussed the benefits of the FTAA focusing on the benefits of a free trade society. There were also two, four-member panels consisting primarily of professors and attorneys. Some topics covered were, the benefits of a free trade society, environmental integrity, and possible alternatives to the FTAA.

Considerable discussion was given to seasonal workers and ongoing litigation to oppose the current draft of the FTAA on several points, as well as the debate over the “success” of NAFTA. One such point raised was the issue of labor rights.  Mr. Palley, Assistant Director of Public Policy at the AFL-CIO spoke of four issues that must be addressed by any trade agreement.  They are: child labor laws, workers’ right to freedom of association, forced labor and discrimination in employment.

     The Center also co-sponsored the Mid-Atlantic Taft-Hartley Investment Conference with Salomon Smith Barney.   Dr. Trumble participated as a keynote speaker for this event.  One topic he covered was the importance of education for workers in managing their retirement plans, thus providing the worker an adequate retirement fund and the corporation with the knowledge that dedicated employees are cared for in retirement.


Appendix A:  Education Programs

Weingarten Rights: Investigatory Interviews and Beyond.  Ann C. Hodges, Esq., Professor of Law, University of Richmond facilitated three seminars that emphasized the National Labor Relations Act as it relates to protected ‘concerted activities’.   In addition to the open-enrollment class offered, we provided classes for both the Communication Workers of America, Local 2201 and the United Auto Workers, Local 919. Ann discussed the recent DC Court of Appeals decision that upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s decision that nonunion employees, like union employees, have the right to request a representative at an investigatory interview which they reasonably believe might lead to disciplinary action. These rights are known as Weingarten Rights and were reviewed in both the union and non-union settings. 

Professor Hodges went on to define and discuss concerted activity as outlined in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  In most private sector organizations, whether union or nonunion, the NLRA covers certain concerted activities and is governed by the National Labor Relations Board.  Section 7 of the act outlines the rights of employees, which include: the right to organize; to form, join or assist labor organizations; to bargain collectively; to engage in concerted activities…for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid and protection; and to refrain from any or all these activities.

 Workplace Violence - General Awareness: Dr. Jan Thomas, CSP, EMT-B of Circle Safety & Health Consultants, LLC, discussed risk factors, crime prevention through environmental design, early warning signs and diffusion of violent behavior for the United Steelworkers Union, Local 831 at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Danville.

 Improving Labor/Management Relations: Dr. Trumble served as facilitator to Dan River Industries and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Local 400 for meetings to improve labor/management relations.  Some of the items covered include grievance procedures, building trust and improved communication. 

 

Appendix B Research and Publications

“The Complexities in Creating Career Ladders for Secretaries” Trumble, Robert R.  and Eure, Shauniquea R. HR Advisor, Vol. 8 (no.1).  This article focuses on the drawback within many organizations regarding the continued lack of advancement opportunities provided to office support staff, especially secretaries.  With the increase in office automation and technological advancement in office support functions, the outlook of the secretarial and administrative staff should have improved.

“Connecting CEO Performance to Corporate Performance:  Examining Intangible Metrics of Shareholder Value.” Trumble, Robert R. and DeLowell, Angela N.  Journal of Compensation and Benefits, Vol.17, (no.6). This report outlines the conditions necessary to quantify, measure, and report performance on relevant tangible and intangible criteria and, perhaps, to draw a more substantial connection between executive compensation, corporate performance, and CEO influence.

“Employee Stock Ownership Plans:  International Variations”, Trumble, Robert R. and Hawkridge, Karen.  International HR Journal, Vol. 10 (no.1). This report examines the four points that can guide the decision of whether an ESOP will be successful.  Those four points are: individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, quantity vs. quality, and power distance.

“Financial Valuation Techniques and Strategies: ESOP Complexities”, Trumble, Robert R. and Knight, David L. Valuation Strategies, Vol. 4 (no. 5).  This article looks at the complexities of valuation of ESOP shares and discusses methods that could be applied to ensure fairness.

“Global CEO Compensation Analysis: Applying the CEO- Corporate Performance Model.” Trumble, Robert R. and DeLowell Angela N. International HR Journal, Vol. 11 (no. 2).  This report discusses applying the CEO-Corporate Performance Model introduced in “Connecting CEO Performance to Corporate Performance” to international organizations.

"Retirement Benefits: Educational Complexities and Options" Trumble, Robert R. and Lawson, Gregory.  Journal of Compensation and Benefits, May/June 2002.  This article has been developed from research of area retirement benefits.  It looks at the significance of behavioral finance, current employee financial education for retirement, and external tools and guides to facilitate this education. 

Virginia Labor Studies Center
1015 Floyd Avenue, Suite 1113
Richmond, VA 23284-4000

OFFICE: (804) 828-7484 or
(800) 793-VLSC (8572)
FAX: (804) 828-4340

© 1999, 2000 School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University. All Rights Reserved
Last Updated 10/30/2002
This page is maintained by Tracy A. Jolley

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