Apparently, absenteeism at GM's North American plants is such a huge issue that the automaker has to offer more than just a paycheck to get workers to show up. The new labor contract the General signed with the UAW includes an incentive for workers that go a full year without missing a day. Their reward is to be entered into a drawing that gives five lucky employees $15,000 to put towards a new GM car or truck.
While the idea of offering an incentive for employees to do their job might be a surprise to the rest of us working stiffs, the auto industry's hourly workforce has one of the highest annual absenteeism rates in the U.S. A 2004 study showed that about 10-percent of workers aren't manning their positions during the year – three-times higher than other industries. Naturally, this has a massive effect on labor costs and quality control.

GM has tried a number of different programs to lower that absentee rate to no avail (sometimes it actually went up ), but in addition to the cash giveaway program, a new absence excuse system will be employed January 1st that puts more stringent restrictions on employee attendance. Workers will now need to show proof of test results or a prescription slip for medical issues, and if the problem persists, the offending employee will be given the axe.

[Source: Detroit News]

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