Confined Space
News and Commentary on Workplace Health & Safety, Labor and Politics

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Ford: Workers Pissing Away Profits

Wondering what's really wrong with the American auto industry? Well, wonder no more. It's the piss-poor dedication of workers to their jobs.

Workers at Ford Motor Co.'s Michigan Truck plant are allowed 48 minutes per shift for bathroom breaks, and they're taking advantage of it, according to plant management.
Managers at Ford Motor Co.'s Michigan Truck plant in Wayne say workers are spending too much time in the bathroom, an internal memo says.

So supervisors will start collecting weekly data to monitor rest room breaks, according to the memo, distributed to workers at the plant this week.

The factory's 3,500 hourly workers are allowed 48 minutes per shift for such breaks.

Ford says workers taking longer breaks are slowing down production of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicles built at the plant, The Detroit News reported Thursday.

"In today's competitive environment, it is important that Michigan Truck plant immediately address this concern to avoid the risks associated with safety, quality, delivery, cost and morale," the memo says.
The union, of course, is pissed off:
Some managers get "petty" during tough times, said Jody Caruana, a committee member for the United Auto Workers Local 900 that represents plant workers.

"It's an excuse by upper management to gloss over some of the real problems we have out here," Caruana said. "Is this causing a quality or productivity problem? No. If someone is not on the job, you can bet someone else is who knows what they are doing."
UPDATE: Chrysler, which doesn't seem to be having as many problems lately as Ford or GM, seems to think its workers should be treated as adults:
Chrysler on bathrooms: Take your time
Car maker says it has no plans to follow Ford plant in monitoring restroom breaks.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - If assembly-line workers at Chrysler Group plants gotta go to the bathroom, they can take their time, according to a Web posting by a top executive.

Jason Vines, the automaker's vice president of communications, says on his corporate Weblog that the North American division of DaimlerChrysler (Research) doesn't plan to monitor workers' bathroom breaks.

The statement is an apparent response to the Detroit News disclosure last week that trips to the lavatory are being monitored at a Ford Motor (Research) plant in Wayne, Mich., in an effort to cut costs at the beleaguered automaker.

"We're not gonna use a stopwatch, turning a natural function into an Olympic sport," said Vines on his blog. "That ... would just be ... well ... too anal."



Go To My Main Page

Google Groups Subscribe to Confined Space
Email:
Browse Archives at groups.google.com




Google
Search WWW Search Confined Space

/div>

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this Blog are my own and do not, in any way, shape or form, reflect or represent the views or policies of my employer. Links to or from other websites of individuals or organizations do not constitute an endorsement of these views.
Looking for Confined Space Safety Information?
Click Here

Google
Search Web Search Confined Space

Greatest Hits


BP Texas City Explosion Stories

2006 Mine Disaster Stories

Popcorn Lung Stories

Speech on Receiving the APHA Lorin Kerr Award
by Jordan Barab, November 9, 2004


Acts of God, Acts of Man," by Jordan Barab, Working USA

Lies, Partisanship Caused Ergo Standard to Crumble, by Jordan Barab, Safety + Health, February 2002

A Week of Death, by Jordan Barab, Hazards, February 5, 2003

Archives


March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007

Recent Posts



FINALIST

Koufax Award

For Best Single Issue Blog of 2003 and 2004