HARRIS, Mich. (WLUC) - "It's an annual conference and we bring labor and management together and together we go over new strategies and techniques." says Joan DeClark when I asked what the conference is all about.
The Upper Peninsula Management and Labor Council has been around for 47 years now but many people may never have heard of it or know what it does. So, what does it do?
"What the organization does is the UPLMC is made up of management and labor people and you bring parties together so that they can do training. This is getting back to the basics so this is getting back to the stuff you really need to know when you're bargaining."
Don Maki, who you can tell is a mediator, has no problem putting it straight. It's to help promote good and knowledgeable relations between the two groups. To that end, the day is filled with seminars on subjects like arbitration and work place bias. All things aimed at making a better working environment for all.
Wendy Leukema is a Marquette Attorney who often represent management in negotiations.
"While there is a lot of legalese and there is a lot of policy at the end of the day it's all about relationships. The better the relationship between management and union, the better the workplace and environment for everyone."
And with over a hundred and fifty in attendance, representing both labor and management and those in the middle, there is always room for more.
"I just think that all employers and unions should send representatives to this conference every year. It's really valuable and it's really important and the content just keeps on improving."