Saturday, February 24, 2007

Detroit Car Makers Continue Their Downward Spiral - Part I

Part I

Detroit Automakers continue to use "SISSY" tactics to slash their payrolls
& cut their employees

Ford Motor Co., continues firing employees and immediately escorting them from corporate buildings at the same time refusing others who want the buyout but work in areas where if all the employees left they would be in trouble.

Another move is to hire a new Executive Vice President who comes in and does the slashing because those leaders who have been with the company for a long time don't have the stomach for mass execution of their employees and workers. Then you have the short-term executives (5 years and less) who make short-term decisions over the years with their own careers as the focal point and not the company. What makes it worse many of them have "Platinum Parachutes" that will reward them for their slashing.

qg says... This is not a new tactic, it's an old "punk" tactic that treats employees like cattle with mad cow disease.

The first time I saw this tactic was at my company (also Detroit Michigan) I used to work for in 1988. One of my co-workers was breaking down at her desk as a HR person and a security guard stood over holding boxes for her to pack personal goods. Her "sissy" boss wouldn't even come by and say good bye. When I walked over to say a few words and help her back I was told by the security guard to stand back and go back to my desk.

Others had now gathered, I basically said " Buddy, I don't think you want to stand here and tell me that when you only make $6.25 an hour that I can't help my friend. Over the years tactics got worse, calling people into a fake meeting and telling them they lost their jobs. Human Resource Managers and security guards walking into the cafeteria and walking people out the door and told them their personal belongings will be sent to them (we called it "Tapping").

Executives from outside the industry were hired (create a new lean culture) to come in and install a new "Me Competitive Culture" that says look out for number 1 and the hell with the company. They did a good job of pitting Department against Department and co-workers against co-workers who would do anything to save their own jobs.

The Executives who did the dirty work left within 2-3 years doing the job they were hired to do with bonuses and a trail of bodies that was added to for years and years until this day.

What remains in companies that do this type of restructuring is a climate of Fear, Stress and Extreme Anger.

All during this time the Company will put out public and inter office announcements telling everyone how difficult this is and they are doing it in the best manner possible. You see the mentality is to get the wounded and dying out of the way quickly before the remaining troops see them and get further depressed.

If you don't see a face it's hard to get emotional, besides those that remain now have double and triple the amount of work because company managers did a dismal job of matching the amount of people needed with the number given to be cut by the Financial Pirates.

Check out some of the more recent comments from Ford Executives (some have just been hired and put in positions of deciding how many employees must go):

As Ford Motor Co. works through thousands of employee buyouts, Executive Vice President Mark Fields sent a memo Thursday advising managers to handle the process with decency and humanity.

Ford had so many white-collar workers sign up for voluntary buyouts that the automaker has begun to revoke offers.

Some employees who wanted to leave Ford said their managers told them they no longer could take a buyout and, if they stayed, they could be demoted, relocated or have to take a pay cut. Some said Ford was trying to get them to quit without taking an expensive package.

Mr. Fields also said "Ford recognizes the separations may result in a range of emotions by both employees that leave and those who remain as they say good-bye to fellow employees and transition to a new way of doing business."

In addition he said "As a supervisor, it is especially important to be accessible and supportive of your team during the transition. Most importantly, make sure your employees know what is expected of them and help them deliver on their objectives."

"People are furious," a Ford Manager said. "Do you hear me? Furious, with a capital 'F.' Crying. ... They may have to relocate, and they may have to take a lower-paying job. It's just horrible the way people are being treated."

One employee who anticipated the buyout and was told time and time again to find a new job and take the offer sold his house, accepted a new job in another state and then later was told he could not go because he and his boss now had to run the Department. Did I mention his wife also quit her job.

And finally Executive Vice President Mark Fields says (I'm sure from his own personal experiences):

  • "While these actions are difficult, they are necessary ... to create the foundation for future profitable growth.

  • "We recognize it's hard to say good-bye to friends and colleagues -- their contributions and years of service are greatly appreciated."

  • "Employees who accepted a conditional voluntary separation offer will be individually notified by their manager, no later than Feb. 27, as to whether their offer can be granted.

  • "This change will introduce a period of transition -- the process by which we must leave behind old ways of doing things and develop creative and effective ways to work with a third fewer people."

General Motors

GM said it would stop production at 12 plants and cut 30,000 hourly jobs in North America by the end of 2008. Another 4-5000 salaried jobs at GM are in the crosshairs.


DaimlerChrysler AG has contacted at least four private equity firms about the possible sale of the Chrysler Group, according to a report in today’s Financial Times.

Speculation of a Chrysler Group sale was sparked last week when DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche said all options were being considered for the Auburn Hills unit. The news came as DaimlerChrysler announced a restructuring plan that calls for cutting 13,000 jobs in Chrysler Group.

With 13,000 job cuts and a sale of the division being explored, Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda (he is new too) is trying to calm the nerves of employees and dealers with e-mails and conference calls.

In an e-mail sent late Wednesday, LaSorda (not the ex-LA Dodger Manager) told Chrysler employees that terms of the buyout and early-retirement packages could be ready "in the next few days." I think Tommy LaSorda from the Dodgers should be hired next.

qualityg says... why don't you all just merge and move to Mexico or China or India, afterall that is where your decisions are decided and many of your products made.

Another story from qg on on "The Demise of American Management."

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