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By Sally Klingel, Ann M. Martin

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Finally, hourly employees had been heard. Whereas implementation of CST recommendations is sometimes a problem, in this case management's decision to keep the distribution center in-house carried with it the authority to implement the team's proposals immediately. Implementation was the responsibility of the team. The internal consultant and the facilitator played a legitimating 44 Harrison Radiator and the UA W role in this process; no commitments were to be forgotten. 99 were saved. 53 had been saved.

Some workers saw the formation of the teams as a management move to ensure that a bank of products would be available before closing. The teams in 465 were told they had six months to tum the department Harrison Radiator and the VA W 39 around, but it was closed after two months, because it was too costly to operate. This experience fostered widespread bitterness and skepticism about management. The union members who were involved in the teams were, in their words, devastated when the department was closed.

The remaining 500 employees were engineers, managers, and clerical employees. The UAW replaced an independent union in a representation election in 1977, and in 1979 it signed its first contract with Trico. After many years of operating profitably, Trico began suffering losses in 1979, and over the next four years it lost nearly $28 million. Management called in a consulting firm in the early 1980s to study operations and advise the company on strategies for the future. The report proposed that Trico reduce its exclusive dependence on windshield wipers and become a general manufacturer of auto parts.

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