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More Crazy GM Plant Stories (Circa 2005)


As GM battles surging costs, workers' health becomes issue – 04/08/05:

Now this is different than “Quality Cat”, but think about about how quality and productivity suffer in these circumstances. At least they don't “get drunk”, their breaks aren't long enough for that, thank goodness!!

“Zachow's has long been a worker hangout. At one time it was part of a residential neighborhood adjoining the plant. Later GM bought most of the neighborhood land, but the Zachow family declined to sell. Today the bar sits near the middle of the plant's parking lot.”

Mr. Zachow said workers don't get drunk when they hit his bar during breaks. “They only have less than a half-hour for their breaks. If they can get two or three beers down, that's about it,” Mr. Zachow said. “It's fast and furious. And they get a little exercise walking over. The bar is in a good place. If they were going down to the other bar down the street, they'd have to go down a whole mile.”

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus. He is currently writing his next book, tentatively titled Measures of Success.

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