GCI creates labor relations practice to protect corporate clients

SAN FRANCISCO: In an effort to better defend corporate clients against the impact of labor strife, GCI Group has created a labor relations practice.

SAN FRANCISCO: In an effort to better defend corporate clients against the impact of labor strife, GCI Group has created a labor relations practice.

SAN FRANCISCO: In an effort to better defend corporate clients

against the impact of labor strife, GCI Group has created a labor

relations practice.



Based in San Francisco and headed by EVP Sam Singer, the group will

operate under GCI’s corporate umbrella and includes heavyweights such as

Robert Berrier (research), Gary Grates (employee relations) and Liam

Fitzpatrick, the UK head of the firm’s employee and change management

practice.



Although union membership is on the decline, Singer said labor

organizations are becoming savvier in their dealings with management.

’When people think about unions, they think of strikes and pickets, but

unions are smarter than that now,’ he explained. ’They are playing the

PR game better than ever before, which affects stock prices and

corporate reputation.’



Labor relations work accounted for roughly dollars 1 million of

Kamer-Singer’s dollars 4.3 million in revenues last year, Singer said

(GCI acquired Kamer-Singer in February 1999). The group has worked for

unions in the past, but will focus its efforts on representing corporate

management.



Singer added that GCI does not currently handle any unions. ’We’re

mostly dealing with corporate clients, so there’s no reason to be on the

(union) side,’ said EVP Jim Cox. ’Union work is usually a one-trick

pony.’



Singer earned his labor-relations stripes by steering Levi Strauss & Co.

through a series of layoffs in 1997 and 1998.



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