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Ford cracks down on restroom breaks

From The Detroit News:

You know things are tense at work when management starts timing rest room breaks. But beleaguered Ford Motor Co. is doing just that.

In a memo that was distributed Tuesday to workers at Ford's Michigan Truck plant in Wayne, plant managers said too many of the factory's 3,500 hourly workers are spending more than the 48 minutes allotted per shift to use the bathroom. The extra-long breaks are slowing production of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicles that are built there, the company said.

"In today's competitive environment, it is important that Michigan Truck plant immediately address this concern to avoid the risks associated with safety, quality, delivery, cost and morale," the memo said.

The length of bathroom breaks may seem minor, but Ford's attention to it reflects the intense pressure on U.S. automakers and parts suppliers to improve factory performance and cut costs amid fierce competition from more-efficient foreign rivals.

Ford supervisors will begin collecting weekly data on the amount of time workers spend on bathroom breaks and "respond appropriately," the memo said.

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Cross your legs!

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