Labor-Management Summit Meetings
After a somewhat shaky start in May, the series of “summit meetings” between management and labor, sponsored by the Eisenhower administration, was resumed August 2 in an atmosphere that promised greater success than seemed likely when the plan was first advanced by George Meany, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Although Meany said after the first meeting, May 19, that the discussion behind closed doors had been “completely amicable and reasonable,” other participants intimated that the whole project might be quietly dropped.
The second meeting raised cautious hope that the “era of bad feeling” between unions and industry may be approaching an end. Some observers believe that labor-management relations have matured to the point where responsible joint consideration of the effects on the nation of the struggle between the two great power blocs may now be feasible. Mutual recognition of the strains to which each is subjected in this era of rapid technological change, and increased competition from abroad, may promote honest effort to bring about more harmonious relationships than have been exhibited in the recent past.
Objectives of Top-Level Union-Industry Talks
The Eisenhower-sponsored plan calls for a continuing series of informal private discussions, between top trade union and industrial leaders, of any and all subjects of mutual concern to management and labor. There is to be no effort by either side to win propaganda advantage and no pressure to settle specific differences by a fixed date; no representative of the government will be present to press for compromises not fully acceptable to either side of an existing controversy.