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NPR on the Jobs Bank


NPR : Future Uncertain for Auto Workers' Safety Net

I don't mean to focus so much on this Jobs Bank issue. But, this piece is one of the reasons this blog got such a spike in readership last week.

Members of the United Auto Workers union enjoy a one-of-a-kind deal with U.S. car makers: Idled workers do community service or watch videos and play cards — all while earning full pay.

This is why it's a lean issue to me. Toyota talks about having “respect for humanity.” It seems the ultimate disrespect to pay people to do nothing. GM hasn't respected its workers. It's a shame GM management couldn't have found a way to keep people busy, but one long-time GM employee wrote me:

I had experience with some of the first jobs bank people in about 1986. They were there to help us with clerical work, but despite being nice guys who tried to help, this was out of their area of expertise – I don't think most of the group of about 6 employees in the pool helping service even had high school diplomas. They were much better at gopher tasks or even measuring things, although their data collection capabilities were somewhat limited.

Sad, sad situation, then and now. Again, from NPR:

People have spent 15 years in the program — more time than they've spent actually making cars.

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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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