|Foreign Fears of Ford Flushing Fitness Facilities|
|Key Words||Workers, Absenteeism, Taxes, Pay, Benefits, Job Insecurity|
Ford has just bought the car division of the Swedish auto producer, Volvo. Workers at Volvo are concerned because they fear that they could lose their health facilities - a gym, an olympic pool, badminton and tennis courts, an outside track, a sauna, and tanning beds. Currently, Volvo pays over $600,000 each year to support the center, while the employees who use it pay $1.50 a day.
Ford workers in the U.S. generally have access to fitness centers and weight-reduction programs free of charge, but no exotic facilities such as those in Gothenburg. At Volvo, management and the union argue that absenteeism is lower partly due to the facilities. They also face higher taxes and much lower pay than in the U.S., and-in common with other Swedish companies-offer generous non-wage benefits.
Volvo workers are also worried at the prospect of Ford requiring three shifts a day instead of two, reduced family time, and job insecurity.
(Updated April 1, 1999)
|Source||Amar Latour, "Detroit Meets a 'Worker Paradise'", The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 1999.|
Return to the Labor Markets Index
©1998 South-Western College Publishing. All Rights Reserved webmaster | DISCLAIMER