Thursday, April 10, 2014
Too often companies overlook workers when there is a product defect. The company takes the blame and by extension those who built the product. However, it is often not the workers' fault. They installed a defective part correctly and with pride. Only later do they find out that the part is bad. This is the morale-breaking situation that assembly line workers of GM's Lordstown Assembly Plant are facing. The new Chevrolet Cobalts that left their hands were built with quality and craft. Suddenly, all of them are suspect for a bad ignition switch that has caused loss of life. GM's CEO is under fire for what appears to be a cover-up at the engineering level of the company. The workers aren't at fault. They trusted management to design and build good parts for the car, and it didn't happen. As a result, GM has both an internal and external PR problem. It needs to regain the trust of its workforce at the same time it is battling with the government over the issue of a long-delayed recall. It won't help for the plant manager to tell the workforce they aren't to blame. Employees still feel bad and let down. This is a situation in which words mean little. Good parts are what is needed -- parts employees have confidence in putting into a new car.