To disignate the function of personnel administration, the terms "industrial relation" and "labor relation" are sometimes used interchangeably with it, although the differences should be noted. In a large organization, the title "vice-president, industrial relation" or "director of industrial relations" will be given to an executive who is an expert in both labor relations and personnel administration. He may have reporting to him a labor relations manager and a personnel manager. A major part of his duties is to represent or assist top management in negotiations with one or more unions. The term "labor relations" refers only to the relations between management and unionized labor, including contract negotiation and the usual workaday relations ships with shop stewards and business agents.
Two years ago I moved to a new neighbourhood. There seem to be very few people in this area who are without telephones, so I expected to get a new phone quickly. I applied for one as soon as I moved into my new house. "We aren't supplying many new phones in your area," an engineer told me. "A lot of people want new phones at the moment and the company is employing fewer engineers than last year so as to save money. A new phone won't cost you mush money, but it will take a little time. We can't do anything for you before December." You nees a lot of patience if you're waiting for a new phone and you need a few friends whose phones you can use as well. Fortunately, I had both. December came and went, but there was no sign of a phone. I went to the company's local to protest. "They told me I'd have a phone by December," I protested. "Which year?" the assistant asked.