Chrysler Group and the United Auto Workers announced they havebeen recognized by the National Safety Council (NSC), an independentauthority, with a number of awards for outstanding performance in jointcompany-union efforts to improve employee safety and health in ChryslerGroup facilities.In presenting the awards at the 2003 UAW-DaimlerChrysler Annual Meeting onMarch 11, NSC President and CEO Alan McMillan said, "If you want to be safein America, go to work. And, if you want to be really safe, go to work atDaimlerChrysler." McMillan presented an overall Significant ImprovementAward to the Chrysler Group and the UAW, as well as seven similar awards tovarious company divisions. The Significant Improvement Award is granted towork sites that exhibit a 20 percent reduction in injuries that result inlost work time.McMillan also presented five Green Cross for Excellence Awards to ChryslerGroup divisions that had a rate of lost work days due to injuries that was50 percent or better than the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics average.The Chrysler Group and the UAW approach health and safety as acollaborative effort. Nate Gooden, UAW vice president and director of theDaimlerChrysler Department, said, "Our employees and constituents have theright to a safe workplace. The Chrysler Group agrees, and our jointlabor-management teams work hard every day to ensure it happens."Tom LaSorda, Chrysler Group executive vice president of manufacturing,said, "Safety is more than a priority to us -- it is a core value of how weoperate. I am proud of the achievements made by our joint leadership teamand the entire workforce, and I know we can do even better." JohnFranciosi, senior vice president of employee relations, added, "We aredelighted that such a distinguished organization as the NSC has recognizedour efforts in safety and health."In April, 33 individual plants and depot operations will receive the NSC'sSignificant Improvement Award. In addition, 22 individual sites willreceive the Green Cross Award and four locations will receive the PerfectAward, presented to facilities that had no injuries in 2002 resulting inlost work time.Jim Thomas, director of health, safety and medical operations for theChrysler Group, credited the results to management and union leadership,along with a joint program titled "Bringing Excellence to Safety Teams"(BEST). "We have standardized our safety processes, which are driven byour leadership teams, resulting in 'ownership' of safety and health issuesby all parties. Because of that, our incident rates and rate of lost workdays have fallen well over 50 percent in three years."Thomas added, "It's a total win for everybody involved -- the company, theunion, and most of all, our employees and our families. Yet, as good aswe've become in safety and health, we recognize there are furtheropportunities for improvement."