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New GM tightens clamp on worker absenteeism

Published: Sat, August 8, 2009 @ 12:01 a.m.

By William K. Alcorn

Ninety-eight percent of employees come to work every day, union leader says.

LORDSTOWN — General Motors union employees are subject to much stricter absenteeism rules, violation of which could end up in termination.

According to a new memorandum of understanding between GM and the United Auto Workers obtained by The Vindicator, violation of the policy can range from a written warning for the first violation to termination of employment after the sixth infraction.

“There are changes. The policy is a lot stricter than the 2007 agreement,” said Jim Graham, president of UAW Local 1112, which represents employees at the assembly plant.

Ninety-eight percent of the employees come to work every day. It’s the other 2 percent that the policy addresses, he said.

The biggest changes are that employees must report off no less than 30 minutes before their shift begins, and the termination language, said Dave Green, president of UAW 1714, which represents employees in the fabrication plant.

Previously, employees could not come to work and then take a personal day or other leave after the fact. That is no longer possible, Green said.

“We have good jobs, and we know that. We want our people to come to work. The union’s position is that we expect our people to go to work,” Green said.

According to the memorandum, all instances of employee absences, except ... Contractually acceptable reasons for missing work, are subject to the new Special Procedure for Attendance.

What the agreement calls Attendance Improvement Steps for violating absenteeism rules are:

U First offense, written warning;

U Second offense, second warning;

U Third offense, referral to the Employee Assistance Program and balance of shift and one week unpaid time off;

U Fourth offense, balance of shift plus two weeks unpaid time off;

U Fifth offense, balance of shift plus 30 days unpaid time off;

U Sixth offense, termination.



1galaxyranger_one(1 comment)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Why make more rules, when the current contract isn't followed or enforced?! I work for Ford and have a relatives who work for both Ford and GM. Will forms or electronic means be made readily available for requesting time off and will I get a dated signed rejection or approval? When I bring in a doctors note, will it have to say "my name, couldn't work due to "diagnosis"? Will I get the dated, signed and appropriately coded original note returned to me (if rejected is there an appeal process)? When working hours making it a hardship to get to a doctor, will I be able to use my personal time in blocks appropriate to allow me to come in late or leave early so I can seek mediacl treatment (ie... Allergy shots, treatment for ailment or condition or take my child or spouse to the doctor)? What is my recourse if refused time off or note is rejected? What if I am sick and don't wake up in time to call in 30 minutes before my shift?

If our current contract was followed and abuse by individuals documented where appropriate new stricter rules wouldn't be neccessary. I have a B.S. In production management and have worked both sides of the fence. I hired in to Ford with the intent of applying for a managment position in two or three years, it only took a year to see I wasn't going to do that! I know GM isn't any better, so how do you expect to keep hourly employee's when wages and working conditions are worse and the pay the same as everywhere else? Blue Collar workers such as my remaining union brothers and sister are the ones who make the products and used to be able to buy the products. Who buys them when we can't afford them?! Oops more jobs gone and an even, weaker economy!

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2oldstown(266 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

The only way the auto industry has any future in this country is if the jobs pay minimum wage with no benefits. I mean come on, oompa-loompas could do the work.

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3casper77(136 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

hey oldstown, you wouldn't last a day working on the line. It's fools like you who never worked in a factory ,who think they know all about how hard it is to work in a car plant. Why don't you go to ONE STOP and apply for one of the FLEX jobs that they are offering. They work part- time on weekend, than I want to hear you comment on how easy it is to work there. Come on , see how a real man works!!!!!

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4TB(1167 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect an employee to call off well before his/her shift starts.

"What if I am sick and don't wake up in time to call in 30 minutes before my shift"

Then you are an idiot. I'm a pro-union person, but it's not a company's job to babysit you. Set an alarm clock. Don't roll out of bed and stumble in to work. It's not that unreasonable.

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5paulydel(1598 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Leave the oompa loompas alone. they have feeling just like anyone else and they are hard workers too.

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6YtownBlue(8 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Casper...I've worked in the Lordstown plant. A monkey could work on the line. One of the easiest jobs I ever had, no skill required

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7cambridge(4053 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

I've worked union all my life and from the minute I started out I was taught by the old timers, "this employer hires union labor, respect that, we are partners, earn your pay, your benefits and make a profit for the company every day."

Any attitude other than that will not work. It's been my experience that 98% understand that. The ones that don't need to be weeded out.

I spent my life working as or with industrial pipe fitters and welders. Hundred million dollar projects. A huge business but a very small community. Your reputation followed you. It would be your fellow union member working as a foreman that would not accept your dispatch because of your reputation.

As an apprentice I remember being inside the gate at an oil refinery and observed some new hires from the hall coming in one day. The old timer I was working with pointed one out. "See that guy, he has no sweat glands." Sure enough he got turned around at the gate.

Respect your job and respect your employer.

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8DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Good job GM, it only took you 50 years to implement a logical and necessary policy to deal with employee absenteeism.
Worst run domestic corporation since the 1980's hands down.

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9casper77(136 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

oldstown, why did you quit? You said a monkey can do it,remember it was a monkey who first flew into space.. IF a monkey can do it , why can"t you?

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10TB(1167 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

well said cambridge

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