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Human Resource Problem in Steel Industry

The industry's declining productivity, in turn, is the result of a failure on the part of industry management to invest in the modernization of productive facilities, and an ineffective use of human resources. The ineffective use of human resources in the industry is the product of the combined effects of labor union footdragging with respect to work rule changes, and managerial indifference, at best, or outright hostility, at worst, to the welfare of the industry's workforce. With respect to the industry's workforce, a major outcome of all of these factors is employment levels well below the levels of a decade earlier ("Current Labor Statistics," 1990).

Average hourly earnings in the industry in 1989 increased to $14.50, up 5.3 percent from the $13.77 level of 1987 ("Current Labor Statistics," 1990). Average weekly earnings in 1989 of $617.91, however, were up only 3.4 percent from the 1987 level of $597.62 ("Current Labor Statistics," 1990). Productivity in the industry trailed the national average through 1982; however, since that year, productivity improvement in the industry has exceeded the national average (Council of Economic Advisers, 1990).

In the absence of a major reversal in trends, employment levels in the steel industry may be expected to, at best, 3remain flat during the remainder of the 1990s. At worst, further declines could easily occur.


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