Saturday | May 12, 2001

According to an interesting Financial Times article (“The futile war for talent,” June 6, 2001), most corporations would be better off if they stopped raiding one another for superstar staff and concentrated on identifying and developing the talents of their current workforce. For their part, unions have a vested interest in helping members increase both the value and the quality of their work. Two discussions hosted by the Albert Shanker Institute explored the convergence of these interests. In 2000 the Institute and the New Economy Information Service, organized a seminar for trade union leaders and researchers from the U.S. and several European countries to discuss union experiences with professional development as a service to members, a tool for organizing and a basis for improved labor-management relations. The Institute also convened a small meeting of U.S. business representatives and U.S. and European labor leaders to discuss institute polling data on the attitudes and aspirations of professional and technical workers and to explore workforce development and other possible areas for improved cooperation.