It takes you HOW long to go?

“Ford Motor Co. management reportedly is trying to stop the company’s financial outlook from going down the toilet.”

CNN/Money: Report: “Ford plant clamping down on bathroom breaks”

What a great lead! But what’s up with THAT?

Reportedly, Ford’s Michigan Truck plant issued a memo in which it said too many hourly workers are spending more than the 48 minutes allotted per shift to use the bathroom, slowing production.

Ford supervisors are to collect data on the amount of time workers spend on bathroom breaks and “respond appropriately.”

The 48-minute bathroom break limit is spelled out in the UAW contract that covers local plant rules.

What I find most noteworthy is how this highlights the legalistic environment in which many union companies must operate.

Imagine firing someone for too much time in the bathroom and having to spend several thousand bucks arbitrating how many minutes the employee actually took and whether there were mitigating circumstances.

How many nonunion companies have human resources policies spelling out bathroom breaks to the minute? How many are so generous?

Put that on your list of why many folks hate unions more than they hate HR.

That’s a lot of bathroom time! I wonder if it can all be used in one big potty break. I could really get some reading done if that were allowed.

UPDATE: In a journalists-only corporate blog, Chrysler announced it has no plans to monitor workers’ bathroom breaks:

“We’re not gonna use a stopwatch, turning a natural function into an Olympic sport,” said [the] blog. “That … would just be … well … too anal.”

Chrysler employees have 46 minutes per shift for bathroom time. Ford employees at the Michigan Truck plant have 48 minutes . . . U.S. plants of Japanese automakers allow only 30 minutes per shift in the bathroom.

“That’s quite a difference in, um, line speed,” said [the Chrysler blog] posting.

CNN/Money: “Chrysler on bathrooms: Take your time”

Photo credit: byrdiegyrl via flickr
Creative Commons License

For additional current information, don’t forget to visit our “Recent Reading” page, a blog-within-a-blog.

Leave a Reply