Industry + Work | 1970 | Sound | Colour
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Industrial relations in the 1970's in particular the role of union leaders in a small company. Bulk of film concentrates on the role of manager who patches up the deteriorating relationship between the union and bosses, while demonstrating his ability to manage people effectively.
Opening sequence: a group of young men stand laughing around on a J.C.B digger located in a factory. We are introduced to the line manager who enters his office and corrects his secretary, telling her to refer to the digger by its proper name, a 28L. His secretary wears a very 1970's style shirt with scarf collar around her neck. The drama revolves around a contract for an excavator (a 3C excavator) and a gearbox required for this client. What ensues is a narrative which revolves around our manager's attempts to meet the deadline for ensuring delivery. The voiceover states the qualities required to be a good front line manager - persuasion, persistence and the ability to take matters further if necessary. Our manager confronts his colleague in the purchasing department. A Union representative confronts his manager about staff shortages. A good front line manager is willing to understand other managers' problems. Three managers discuss a memo from higher management and a breakdown in effective communication between departments. Our front line manager leaves to confront his manager . The female union representative comes back in to the second manager's office to continue her tirade about perceived management abuses. The union representative confronts him more directly saying "You are supposed to act like a manager, after all you are meant to be one."
Voiceover says: Some of the best front line managers are at their best in a crisis. Their first priority is pulling the fat out of the fire and getting the job done, and that, let's face it, takes initiative.
A mechanics workshop. Two mechanics are invited to give assistance to meet the deadline. They agree, but in doing so break an embargo on overtime agreed by the management and the unions. Alan our manager is confronted by the male union representative who threatens industrial action. Our line manager is faced with a very serious problem because he failed to consult the union representative. The Union representative for the secretaries continues to berate her manager. Useful scenes of sequences which could be useful if used together. The inefficient purchasing managers working strategies and methodologies. Alan our line manager receives a telephone call from the senior union representative, whom we see talking to him on the phone from a pub or bar. The two men sit at the bar and discuss the union agreement. Alan our manager has a heated discussion about what to do about the impending industrial dispute in the works managers office. Dispute is resolved.
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