Summer jobs program to fall short in cityBaltimore youths...

WORKPLACE & CAREERS

June 11, 1993|By Kim Clark | Kim Clark,Staff Writer

Summer jobs program to fall short in city

Baltimore youths will face one of the worst shortages of summer jobs in the region, the U.S. Department of Labor reported yesterday.

The department said it would be able to pay for only 3,060 summer jobs in the city this summer, but it estimates that more than three times that number of young people -- 9,460 -- will need jobs starting next week.

The government said it would launch a television campaign to persuade private employers to pick up the slack.

In Philadelphia, the government will have 5,200 jobs for an estimated 9,041 youths. And in Norfolk, the federal program will fall 500 jobs short of estimated demand.

NLRB cracking down on 'quality circles'

The National Labor Relations Board has cracked down on another company for forming "quality circles" that were really illegal company unions.

But local specialists insist that the increasingly popular worker-management teams are still permissible -- though not always advisable.

In a decision released late last week, the NLRB ordered Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Co. to disband seven safety committees at the chemical company's Deepwater, N.J., plant because the panels were dominated by managers.

The NLRB said DuPont used the committees to handle issues -- ranging from safety to worker incentives -- that should have been negotiated with the Chemical Workers Association, which represents the plant's workers.

The DuPont ruling follows a December 1992 finding that Elkhart, Ind.-based Electromation Inc. had illegally formed labor-management committees to fight off a Teamsters organizing drive.

The two rulings don't discourage Tom Tuttle, director of the Maryland Center for Quality and Productivity at the University of Maryland at College Park, who has helped many companies set up quality programs that call for labor-management cooperation.

He says corporate interest in forming such teams continues to grow because they are an important part of drives to improve quality, productivity, community relations and the like.

But local labor lawyer A. Samuel Cook says he warns clients that the teams, while legal and often successful, can be dangerous for employers hoping to keep their work force nonunion.

Mr. Cook, of Venable, Baetjer & Howard, tells employers who want teams to "keep them informal. Don't have rules or procedures or a designated spokesman. Don't talk about pay or benefits. Do talk about productivity, communications, training and safety."

But he warns executives that while the teams can improve quality and morale, "they are a double-edged sword. . . . They could give workers the idea that 'Boy, this collective action really works.' "

Weak demand hurts grad resume service

An attempt to move employers' searches for college graduates into the computer age is fighting real-world issues of high unemployment and mistrust.

Jay McGiver, director of sales and marketing for Gaithersburg-based ETSI, says his company's new data base of graduate students' resumes can make it easy for companies to find candidates in quick computer searches.

But there hasn't been much demand for resumes on the College Recruitment Database because employers don't seem to be interested in hiring, he said. "It is depressing, but it is the real world."

And he's had some trouble persuading universities to put their students' resumes on the service -- even though he pays the school a royalty every time one of their resumes is viewed by an employer.

Some college placement advisers, he said, see his data base "as a way to augment their services. . . . Others see it as a way to replace them."

Cost of health care continues to moderate

Increases in health care costs continued to moderate early in 1993, a Radnor, Pa.-based research firm found.

Milliman & Robertson said health costs rose at a 3.9 percent annual rate in January, slightly higher than the general inflation rate of 3.3 percent.

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