Union Management Initiatives
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Project Profiles
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Available 8:30am-5:00pm (ET) Monday - Friday
  • Send Us a Message
  • Phone:
    (517) 353-3131
  • Fax:
    (517) 355-7656
  • Mail:
    South Kedzie Hall
    368 Farm Lane, Room S409
    East Lansing, MI 48824

Gain Competitive Advantage Through Effective Labor Relations.

In today's increasingly competitive and unpredictable global marketplace, every organization must seek to achieve competitive sustainability for the benefit of the enterprise, its workforce, and the broader community. Central to achieving competitive sustainability are high-performance workplaces, one's developed deep within organizations that fully tap the innovative capacity and commitment of labor and management. MSU's Union-Management Initiatives (UMI) faculty offers the expertise and experience essential to bringing labor and management together to transform operations into resilient high-performance workplaces.

What UMI Offers:

  • a unique ability to engage managers and union leaders in strategic planning for mutual gains
  • in-depth expertise in high-performance workplace systems and organizational change in unionized organizations
  • adept skills in facilitating interest-based problem-solving in designing high-performance work processes
  • a contemporary, balanced framework for structuring and facilitating the negotiation of labor-management agreements
  • rich experience and insights into developing trust-based capacity in unionized organizations

Recent UMI Clients:

  • Coca-Cola and USW
  • General Motors and UAW
  • Kraft Foods and multiple unions
  • Mopar (Chrysler) and UAW
  • Post Cereals and RWDSU
  • Spartan Foods and IBT
  • Eaton Corporation and UAW
  • Gerber Foods and RWDSU
  • Mead Paper and USW
  • Philip Morris and USW
  • Rowe International and UEW
  • Sparrow Hospital and MNA

Record of Success:

  • Pressed to reduce cost-per-pound of product to remain competitive, a food manufacturer and its union was assisted by UMI to redesign work; resulting in significant reductions in cost-per-pound, increased capacity, capital investment, and employment security.
  • Facing closure of its distribution center due to costly inefficiencies in its work processes and supply chain, UMI facilitated a joint union-management continuous improvement initiative; resulting in streamlined operations, elimination of substantial waste, improved customer satisfaction, and significant cost savings.
  • Seeking to establish a system-wide high-performance work team system throughout its operations, UMI worked with managers and multiple union leaders of a large auto assembly complex; resulting in a jointly agreed upon framework and implementation plan to deploy the new work team system in each facility.
  • Struggling to successfully implement a merger among hospitals, UMI facilitated a restructuring process involving hospital executives, physicians, nursing managers and three unions; resulting in a successful restructuring and organizational changes that aligned utilization and capacity, substantially reducing inefficiencies and costs, and achieving high patient satisfaction.
  • More Project Profiles


The UMI faculty team hold advanced graduate degrees in labor relations, adult education, and organizational development. Each team member has at least 20 years of experience working in unionized organizations.

Michigan State University
© Michigan State University Board of Trustees. East Lansing, MI 48824
MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.

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School of Human Resources & Labor Relations
South Kedzie Hall
368 Farm Lane, Room S403
East Lansing, Michigan, USA 48824
Phone: (517) 355-1801 | Fax: (517) 355-7656