Chrysler Group and the United Auto Workers announced they have
been recognized by the National Safety Council (NSC), an independent
authority, with a number of awards for outstanding performance in joint
company-union efforts to improve employee safety and health in Chrysler
In presenting the awards at the 2003 UAW-DaimlerChrysler Annual Meeting on
March 11, NSC President and CEO Alan McMillan said, "If you want to be safe
in America, go to work. And, if you want to be really safe, go to work at
DaimlerChrysler." McMillan presented an overall Significant Improvement
Award to the Chrysler Group and the UAW, as well as seven similar awards to
various company divisions. The Significant Improvement Award is granted to
work sites that exhibit a 20 percent reduction in injuries that result in
lost work time.
McMillan also presented five Green Cross for Excellence Awards to Chrysler
Group divisions that had a rate of lost work days due to injuries that was
50 percent or better than the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics average.
The Chrysler Group and the UAW approach health and safety as a
collaborative effort. Nate Gooden, UAW vice president and director of the
DaimlerChrysler Department, said, "Our employees and constituents have the
right to a safe workplace. The Chrysler Group agrees, and our joint
labor-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 we
operate. I am proud of the achievements made by our joint leadership team
and the entire workforce, and I know we can do even better." John
Franciosi, senior vice president of employee relations, added, "We are
delighted that such a distinguished organization as the NSC has recognized
our efforts in safety and health."
In April, 33 individual plants and depot operations will receive the NSC's
Significant Improvement Award. In addition, 22 individual sites will
receive the Green Cross Award and four locations will receive the Perfect
Award, presented to facilities that had no injuries in 2002 resulting in
lost work time.
Jim Thomas, director of health, safety and medical operations for the
Chrysler 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 by
our leadership teams, resulting in 'ownership' of safety and health issues
by all parties. Because of that, our incident rates and rate of lost work
days have fallen well over 50 percent in three years."
Thomas added, "It's a total win for everybody involved -- the company, the
union, and most of all, our employees and our families. Yet, as good as
we've become in safety and health, we recognize there are further
opportunities for improvement."