Irwin Trester : Employers, Labor Become 'Foxhole Buddies' Striving for Survival in Tough Economy

Irwin Trester Speaks on the mutual balance of concerns between Employers and Employees
Dec. 5, 2010 - PRLog -- By JACK KATZANEK - Irwin Trester, a Temple City-based consultant who represents employers in union negotiations, said the economy has created a strange year. Much of the usually contentious rhetoric has been replaced by two sides that are both in survival mode.

"These employers are saying they just want to keep their businesses going, and employees are saying all they want to do is keep their homes," said Irwin Trester, who mostly represents smaller business with 300 or fewer workers. "It's like employers and unions have become foxhole buddies.

"This is not management trying to get more leverage. It's not quite like 'Kumbaya,' but there is a mutual balance of concerns on both sides," Irwin Trester said.

Irwin Trester said most of the employers he represents are looking for one-year contracts. Most of their concerns revolve around the fluid costs of health care.

"No one wants to risk predicting what might happen three years out anymore," Irwin Trester said. "We just don't know where it's going."

Union negotiations could become a more serious issue during the rest of this year and into 2009. According to a report by the Bureau of National Affairs, which tracks specialized trends for businesses and government, fewer than one in 10 employers expecting to open collective bargaining plan to give raises higher than 4 percent.

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