DMO makes 'major impact' in improving labor relations

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
When the 562nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's C-17 area was looking for a new designated management official, few people stepped forward.

At the time, labor management relationships in the organization were not good, and the unit would be looking to the new DMO to help improve the situation.

Sandra Huntington, an equal employment opportunity investigator, was offered the position.

"Nobody really wanted the job," she said. "I took it because it was a challenge."

A visit to her daughter at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio also influenced her decision. While there, Huntington noticed C-17s bringing in injured soldiers from Afghanistan. She also found out her daughter, an anesthesiologist, sometimes rides on the planes to assist in transporting patients.

"Once I came back here, I thought 'I want to do whatever I can to make this better,'" Huntington said. "I know a happy worker will do a good job, so I wanted that to be my contribution."

In her first month, she concluded the labor and management issues in the squadron were largely due to the two sides not communicating.

She simply encouraged the two sides to start sitting down together and it turned out to make a big difference in improving labor management relationships. The initiative was the seed of what would become the unit's Partnership Council.

Huntington was honored for her efforts with the Foster Leadership in People award, which is given to both employees and supervisors who help promote better labor management relations.

Allen Hammond was a union representative in the C-17 area when Huntington started there as DMO. He said he came to trust her because he saw she was interested in doing what was right for everyone.

He said she has had "a major impact" on improved labor management relations in the squadron.