Attitude toward people: Ford vs Toyota

Posted in the Ford Motor Forum

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Savage Factory

Springfield, OH

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#1
Aug 5, 2008
 

Judged:

1

Toyota recently announced the conversion of its Tundra plant to the production of Prius. The plant will be down for two months. What about the people? Not a single employee will be laid off. They will train on the new product, train on safety, and work on plant maintainance. What does this say about Toyotas attitude toward people? It says they value their people, they are part of the team.

What does Ford do in similar circumstances? They immediately whip out the old layoff list. What does this say about Fords attitude toward people? It says they are nothing more than expendable units of of production, to be discarded when not immediately useful.

Which group of employees do you think would be most dedicated to working hard and producing a quality product - one who has been discarded, or one who is an integral and important part of the production team? You make the call.
intrepid

Cornwall, Canada

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#2
Aug 5, 2008
 
Savage Factory wrote:
Toyota recently announced the conversion of its Tundra plant to the production of Prius. The plant will be down for two months. What about the people? Not a single employee will be laid off. They will train on the new product, train on safety, and work on plant maintainance. What does this say about Toyotas attitude toward people? It says they value their people, they are part of the team.
What does Ford do in similar circumstances? They immediately whip out the old layoff list. What does this say about Fords attitude toward people? It says they are nothing more than expendable units of of production, to be discarded when not immediately useful.
Which group of employees do you think would be most dedicated to working hard and producing a quality product - one who has been discarded, or one who is an integral and important part of the production team? You make the call.
Toyota fosters an industrial relations model that treats workers like machines, and has pursued a union evasion strategy employing permatemps and wage parity to reduce the incentive to unionize.

But Toyota worker's wages are set to drop, if Toyota has it's way.

In February of this year, an internal memo detailing Toyota plans to slash wages in their North American plants was leaked to the media. Shockingly, the plan appears to call for Toyota to reduce worker pay by more than half.

The company acknowledged that the documents supplied to the Free Press were authentic.

In a memo to workers at the plant after the report was circulated, Toyota noted that workers at Georgetown earned $3 an hour more than the U.S. auto industry standard. The Free Press reported last week the workers averaged $30 an hour, including bonuses.

Currently, the median for comparable manufacturing jobs in Kentucky -- half earn more, half earn less -- is $12.64, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Toyota's strategy resembles what Hyundai Motor Co. uses at its plant in Montgomery, Ala. Assembly workers there make $14 an hour, about half the wages, bonuses and benefits of Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Detroit's automakers. But Hyundai's wages still are considerably higher than for comparable Alabama jobs, which pay $10.79 an hour.

"Our challenge will be how to educate team members and managers about our condition, so that they can understand and accept change," Sudo said in the report.

And it's not just about wage reductions. James Parks over at the AFL-CIO blog reports that Toyota is "dissappearing" workers in order to replace long time workers with permatemps with much lower wages and largely without health benefits.

That's right.

They fired workers because they were injured on the job. That whole "satanic mills" thing seems to be on the rebound with global corporate elites.

...workers say the company, which is nonunion, is firing employees who are injured at work. In addition, full-time workers are being replaced with temporary workers who are paid half what regular team members earn and have little or no health insurance, workers say.

At the town hall meeting, Tim Unger, an 18-year veteran Toyota worker, said he's noticed that some long-time workers have "disappeared" from the plant after they were hurt on the job--victims of Toyota's quest for improved efficiency. Says Unger:

Shoulders would wear out, wrists would require surgery and back
and hands started to fail. It seemed as if the good people who
contributed to the success of Toyota were being used up and
disposed of like garbage.

Earlier this year Toyota overtook GM as the world's largest automaker, yet Toyota workers in Kentucky, Indiana, and California are having their hard work rewarded by being replaced by permatemp workers. Is this really the industrial relations model we want dominating the auto industry?
"What a long strange trip its been"
Dumore

AOL

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#3
Aug 5, 2008
 
How would this be different than the industrial relations model already in place at Ford? At the Sharonville Plant, where I was a supervisor, the exhaust fans broke down that took the toxic, carcinogenic fumes away from the welder operators. Men were choking, coughing. One man had a pounding headache, and another vomited. I ordered the operation shut down until the exhaust fans could be repaired. I was called into the bosses office, chewed up one side and down the other, and told to go back out on the floor and restart the welding operations, and if anyone refused to work in the eye burning, choking gas clouds around the welders, I was to do a 4600 on him (a formal write up that can lead to termination). Are you saying that Toyota is now going to copy the methods that have been in place in the U.S. auto industry since 1905? If so, they will be doomed to the same fate as Detroit.
Ex Ford Employee Wife

Springfield, OH

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#4
Aug 5, 2008
 
To Intrepid--
While there is truth to what you are saying, much has been exagerated and distorted when it comes through pro UAW sources. I buy into that and trust it about as much as I trust George Bush and our government to do what is right for the working people.
I have personally known a man who worked for 15 years at GM and 5 years as a Ford manager. He was laid off during the 70's recession and went to work for Nissan at their new plant. They sent him to Japan for 3 months to learn the Japanese method of management and unlearn the the confrontational management style of the US auto industry. After a couple of years working for the Japanese he told us that he loved his job, and would never work again for any American auto manufacturer.
While it is true that Toyota has considered cutting wages, here is an article from USA today, http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2007-06...
Excerpt--
What Could Dull Toyota's Edge
In the aftermath of the Big Three's cost-saving deal with unions, its U.S. plants must play catch-up
Toyota is worried. Two sources close to the company say that by late 2009, Toyota's 23-year-old assembly plant in Georgetown, Ky., where most workers are at the top of the pay scale, could have the highest labor costs of any auto factory in the U.S. Toyota says that with bonuses, some of its employees already make more than Detroit's unionized workers. "I think [the Detroit automakers] could easily equal us or even exceed us in terms of having lower labor costs," says Pete Gritton, human resources chief for Toyota in North America. What to do? "There's no single answer," he says.
At automotive.com here is the scoop http://blogs.automotive.com/6205652/miscellan...
This is what they say--
UAW And Why Honda And Toyota Workers Are Not Interested
Posted March 27 2007 01:54 PM by staff
Filed under: Miscellaneous, Toyota
To the Japanese automobile manufacturers, unions are the plague. And the United Auto Workers (UAW) admit to having a tough time getting new union members when they visit Japanese manufacturers' plants (called 'transplants') in the U.S. "People just arenít interested," said one union organizer.
The Japanese auto makers in the U.S. seem to be winning their battle with the UAW because the people they employ seem convinced that the benefits are good and that the union couldn't do any better. Moreover, these auto makers tend to build plants in the U.S. in areas that have a low average wage for laborers.
Worse, conditions are better in transplants in some areas. An example of a happy plant of workers is in the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. The workers are now being paid more and getting better bonuses than UAW workers average at domestic plants.
There are some issues with temp workers and what to do with injured workers who are no longer able to do the job. There have been hearings in KY over these issues, but Toyota will not be bullied by union members who are looking to unionize the Japanese plants. The union looks at these non union workers like dogs salivating over a piece of raw meat
intrepid

Cornwall, Canada

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#5
Aug 6, 2008
 
Most Japanese transplant workers in North America are most likely under the false impression that they are compensated accordingly for their hard work team effort and their dedication. While all these attributes are admirable I dare say they will be in shock in the short years ahead as they're wages are scaled back considerably. I have no doubt that they are good workers who give there all for the success of the company but look at the wage disparity between what workers make in the south and what they make in the north working for the same companies doing similiar work. The higher wages in the north are because of the geographical proximity to unionized workplaces and organized labour itself. They pay the workers there more to KEEP THE UNIONS OUT. It has nothing to do with the ability of these companies to pay. Workers wages account for only 10% of the overall cost of building a vehicle. The larger costs are incurred by materials. Many of the southern states have horrible "Right To Work" laws (more like "Right to get screwed over") Unions for good or bad have always been a counter balance to corporate greed and exploitation. There was a time when most people supported their efforts. I'm not saying unions haven't made mistakes but you can pin that medal on most institutions beginning with our own government. So without any representation for workers what do we all do? Hope that corporations treat us fairly and justly? Isn't that a bit naive? The Japanese transplant workers are benefiting from the presence of unions without actually being memebers of one. They just don't realize it. Only time will tell. Maybe we have to all hit rock bottom before we realize who the enemy really is.
intrepid

Cornwall, Canada

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#6
Aug 6, 2008
 
Union wages are and always have been a benchmark to aspire to, for other workers in union and non union workplaces alike. Traditional union contracts and their negotiated wage and benefit gains have become demonized and critisized primarily by two groups. Those who make less with no hope of gains, who harbour animosity and jealousy, and those who consider themselves elitest, and have no respect or concept of the work that auto workers perform or the dangers and enviromental hazards we face on a daily basis. They speak of things they no nothing about. Only the bad stories make it to the front page for all to shake their heads in disgust. Good news doesn't sell papers or sensationalize. So many of us forget that Labour Unions and those associated with them fought for the conditions that created the middle class. No we are under siege in a race to the bottom. The hero is seems to be the one who will do it cheapest. How does this serve us all in the end? Who wins? Certainly not the people. Finally a question. After unions are beaten into the ground who will be next to have their wages cut in half or worse? You? Who is safe? Laws are the only things that protect our standard of living. It would seem that laws can be changed at a whim if corporations put enough pressure in the political arena. No one is safe. When they ask you to take a pay cut how will you stop them? What recourse do people have anymore if labour is defeated? Who will speak for you? The voice of the many is stronger than the voice of the few. The corporations know that "divide and conquor" is the way. Without a middle class we are doomed to go back in time.
Reader0213

San Luis Obispo, CA

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#7
Dec 12, 2008
 
I know you guys are arguing the point over wages, but I would say we should take into account the cost of living for the workers in these different regions. I believe that even if the workers know they are getting paid less, they will be happy if in that region, they are getting a better wage than an alternative manufacturing job nearby. How can you really compare wages when lets say for an example your cost of living differs. You could be making $28k in a cheap place but be able to pay off your bills and have left over, or getting $31000 while just making ends meet
intrepid

Windsor, Canada

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#8
Dec 12, 2008
 
Reader0213 wrote:
I know you guys are arguing the point over wages, but I would say we should take into account the cost of living for the workers in these different regions. I believe that even if the workers know they are getting paid less, they will be happy if in that region, they are getting a better wage than an alternative manufacturing job nearby. How can you really compare wages when lets say for an example your cost of living differs. You could be making $28k in a cheap place but be able to pay off your bills and have left over, or getting $31000 while just making ends meet
If you look at the statistical information of wages and cost of living over the past 20 years you'll see that the cost of living has risen dramatically and wages have stagnated. The argument of living some where cheap is lame at best. You must still live with your parents.
Savage Factory

Troy, OH

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#9
Jan 3, 2009
 
intrepid wrote:
Union wages are and always have been a benchmark to aspire to, for other workers in union and non union workplaces alike. Traditional union contracts and their negotiated wage and benefit gains have become demonized and critisized primarily by two groups. Those who make less with no hope of gains, who harbour animosity and jealousy, and those who consider themselves elitest, and have no respect or concept of the work that auto workers perform or the dangers and enviromental hazards we face on a daily basis. They speak of things they no nothing about. Only the bad stories make it to the front page for all to shake their heads in disgust. Good news doesn't sell papers or sensationalize. So many of us forget that Labour Unions and those associated with them fought for the conditions that created the middle class. No we are under siege in a race to the bottom. The hero is seems to be the one who will do it cheapest. How does this serve us all in the end? Who wins? Certainly not the people. Finally a question. After unions are beaten into the ground who will be next to have their wages cut in half or worse? You? Who is safe? Laws are the only things that protect our standard of living. It would seem that laws can be changed at a whim if corporations put enough pressure in the political arena. No one is safe. When they ask you to take a pay cut how will you stop them? What recourse do people have anymore if labour is defeated? Who will speak for you? The voice of the many is stronger than the voice of the few. The corporations know that "divide and conquor" is the way. Without a middle class we are doomed to go back in time.
There is a third group, intrepid. This group knows exactly what working an auto plant is like, but rejects that kind of a life, regardless of how much it pays. I am in that group. I have worked in pick and shovel coal mines, construction jobs, and an auto plant. I have concluded that most of the money people make is spent on things that they do not need, and, in fact, adds zero to their quality of life. I quit Ford 23 years ago, and my wife and I started a small business. We have no benefits, and togeather we make less than half of what I made at Ford. Nevertheless, we have put three kids through college, own a farm, two houses, three weeks of time shares, have over a half million in IRAs, and no debt. How did we do it? By spending money only on things that we needed, never on things that advertising tried to shove down our throats or things the Jones had. By the way, many of the Jones are broke, and, let us hope, all you auto workers will get a pension, which is, after all, up in the air, is it not?
Savage Factory

Troy, OH

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#10
Jan 3, 2009
 
intrepid wrote:
<quoted text>
Toyota fosters an industrial relations model that treats workers like machines, and has pursued a union evasion strategy employing permatemps and wage parity to reduce the incentive to unionize.
But Toyota worker's wages are set to drop, if Toyota has it's way.
In February of this year, an internal memo detailing Toyota plans to slash wages in their North American plants was leaked to the media. Shockingly, the plan appears to call for Toyota to reduce worker pay by more than half.
The company acknowledged that the documents supplied to the Free Press were authentic.
In a memo to workers at the plant after the report was circulated, Toyota noted that workers at Georgetown earned $3 an hour more than the U.S. auto industry standard. The Free Press reported last week the workers averaged $30 an hour, including bonuses.
Currently, the median for comparable manufacturing jobs in Kentucky -- half earn more, half earn less -- is $12.64, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Toyota's strategy resembles what Hyundai Motor Co. uses at its plant in Montgomery, Ala. Assembly workers there make $14 an hour, about half the wages, bonuses and benefits of Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Detroit's automakers. But Hyundai's wages still are considerably higher than for comparable Alabama jobs, which pay $10.79 an hour.
"Our challenge will be how to educate team members and managers about our condition, so that they can understand and accept change," Sudo said in the report.
And it's not just about wage reductions. James Parks over at the AFL-CIO blog reports that Toyota is "dissappearing" workers in order to replace long time workers with permatemps with much lower wages and largely without health benefits.
That's right.
They fired workers because they were injured on the job. That whole "satanic mills" thing seems to be on the rebound with global corporate elites.
...workers say the company, which is nonunion, is firing employees who are injured at work. In addition, full-time workers are being replaced with temporary workers who are paid half what regular team members earn and have little or no health insurance, workers say.
At the town hall meeting, Tim Unger, an 18-year veteran Toyota worker, said he's noticed that some long-time workers have "disappeared" from the plant after they were hurt on the job--victims of Toyota's quest for improved efficiency. Says Unger:
Shoulders would wear out, wrists would require surgery and back
and hands started to fail. It seemed as if the good people who
contributed to the success of Toyota were being used up and
disposed of like garbage.
Earlier this year Toyota overtook GM as the world's largest automaker, yet Toyota workers in Kentucky, Indiana, and California are having their hard work rewarded by being replaced by permatemp workers. Is this really the industrial relations model we want dominating the auto industry?
"What a long strange trip its been"
If Toyota treats workers like machines, the UAW treats workers like an ATM. For example, the UAW owns the Black Lake Golf Course, a 1,000 acre resort in Onaway, Mich for high level UAW guys. According to the Detroit Free Press, it lost $23,000,000 since 2003. Then there is the $14.7 million the UAW lost on the failed ProAir airline out of Detroit, and the $2,000,000 it lost on the left wing, corporation bashing radio talk show that went belly up. Of course that does not even get into Las Vegas junkets for top union officials, plush offices, private secretaries, personal, high dollar vehicles (American made, I assume). Be honest, intrepid. Would the working man be better off making less money and not have a parasitic union exploiting him?
Mohammed AL-Saedi

Turku, Finland

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#11
Oct 26, 2010
 
Fight the terrorists ,,, Who are the terrorists ? USA ,,, CIA USA ,,, CIA USA, this was the slogan that the protests were chant-ing years ago.

There must be drastic preventive measure to avert the criminals-warmongers, America and its puppets falsey allies, from repeating attempts that aimed to create circumstantial for destabilized environment in the targeted regions.

Japan's Wild Ambition for Overseas Invasion Blasted

"Pyongyang, October 25 (KCNA)-- Rodong Sinmun Monday in a signed commentary cites facts to prove that the Japanese reactionaries are getting more frantic in their preparations for overseas aggression under the pretext of getting ready to cope with "instability" in the areas around Japan and possible contingency. All these are part of the moves of the Japanese reactionaries to round off the preparations for reinvasion, prompted by their militarist wild ambition, the commentary notes, and goes on:"

"The Japanese reactionaries are fanning up territorial disputes with neighboring countries, while insisting on the "dominium" over Tok Islets, and thus deliberately straining the situation."

"Those fond of playing with fire are bound to perish in the flames kindled by them. This was the end of the Japanese imperialists in the past."

reference:
Japan's Wild Ambition for Overseas Invasion Blasted
http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2010/201010/news25...

US and S. Korean Warmongers' Joint Air Battle Exercises Flayed
http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2010/201010/news19...

Renewed American Threats: Building a Pretext to Wage War on North Korea?
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php...

Secrets of the criminal espionage agency CIA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch...

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