Spotlight: Jerry Glass, Labor Relations Expert
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in New York City. I went to college at Boston University and then moved to Washington, D.C., to attend George Washington University, where I received my master’s degree. It is also where I met my wife, Karen. We have been married for 36 years, but with all the travel I do, I tell people we have only been together for about 15 years! We have two adult children and one son-in-law.
My number one passion is basketball. I live and breathe the sport. I have been playing in a basketball league and enjoying pickup games with a group of guys for more than 30 years. And if you invite me to see a high school, college, or professional basketball game, count me in. Karen and I also love cycling and spinning. We take a cycling trip each summer and have seen some great sites on our bikes.
How did you get into labor relations? Can you give us some background on your professional life?
When I graduated from GWU, my first job was with the Veterans Administration as an analyst. The job required a lot of travel and was really gut wrenching, working with our veterans who had done so much for our country. From there, I worked as a costing/financial analyst for the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) which is a trade association and a union. Then, I moved to the Airline Industrial Relations Conference, which served as the labor policy organization for the U.S. scheduled airlines. I started out as the Director of Labor Relations Research and was promoted to Executive Director and Vice President. After 9 years in that job, I went out on my own as a labor and employee relations consultant. The rest was history as I built my consultancy into a national labor relations and HR consulting firm, F&H Solutions Group.
In addition to running my firm, I also served as the Executive Vice President and Chief HR Officer at US Airways during the airline’s two bankruptcies. Wow, did I learn a lot about restructurings! Thankfully, the airline not only survived, but eventually became part of the largest airline in the world.
I have been fortunate to have an amazing team working with me. Together, we provide labor relations advice and negotiations expertise to many of the most important industries in the country, including transportation, construction, property management, media and more.
How have you seen labor relations issues impact business?
[quote_right]”People involved in labor relations must be great communicators and even better listeners.”[/quote_right]Employees are a huge part of an organization’s success. When unions represent employees, it adds a level of complexity to how you manage employees. People involved in labor relations must be great communicators and even better listeners. Labor relations has an impact on a company’s bottom line and it is crucial for employers to tread carefully, work cooperatively, and be proactive when dealing with unions.
How can FHSG help AAA members with their labor relations issues?
We would like to help members understand the dynamics involved in labor-management relations. Whether it’s learning how to communicate effectively with unionized employees, providing research on CBAs in the industry, or understanding the different aspects of a union campaign, we can help you devise a labor strategy. We will offer a free initial consultation to all AAA members. In addition, we will provide insightful blogs and webinars on topics related to labor relations, proactive employee relations and leadership/managerial skills.
Any parting thoughts or last words?
While it is not uncommon for management at newly unionized companies to feel intimidated, it is crucial that management continue to do their jobs and effectively manage employees. Over time, you will learn to work with the union and how to maintain a positive, inclusive and safe workplace culture for your employees. Management cannot allow union activity to disrupt the ability to manage and ensure the integrity of the day to day operation.