The Ford system and employment methods
It is absolutely correct to say that the Ford Highland Park shops are unique. The place certainly stands alone in three vital particulars , which dominate the practice at every point:— First, the company has but one solitary item of commercial product, the Ford motor car, made in one form only, because the differing body forms do not in any way modify the single chassis.
Second, the entire human race desires to ride, and to ride fast and cheaply, and the Ford car meets these conditions of human desire more suitably than any other automobile meets them, and hence is truly and in every sense a certain money maker.
Third, the Ford car holds so closely to the one unchanged model that it becomes commercially possible to equip the shops with every special tool, great or small, simple or complex, cheap or costly, which can be made to reduce production labor-costs.
The Ford shop production has never yet met the purchase demand for cars. There has never yet been a year in the history of the Ford Motor Company in which it did not refuse "immediate delivery" spring and summer orders. The Ford factory product is always over-sold; no car is ever stored at the Highland Park plant for one single day, because this plant has absolutely no place to store its product save in railway cars, and 90 per cent of the automobiles shipped from Highland Park carry with them cash-on-delivery bills of lading. The remaining 10 per cent of the Highland production is shipped to the various Ford "branches," which are, in fact, merely removed members of the Highland Park plant, owned by the Ford Motor Company, and operated by men paid by the Ford Motor Company, who sell this 10 per cent of the plant production at retail, to supply the branch local demand. This branch handling capacity, equaling 10 per cent of the total production, is the reservoir which takes care of the difference between day-by-day actual sales and the total output. The fact that 10 per cent of the total production provides a sufficient storage volume for cash-sales fluctuations* shows the unparalleled steadiness of the increase in the demand for the Ford Motor Company's one and only automobile.
These three points of generic distinction—first, that the factory produces but a single article for sale; second, that it is an article of universal human desire, sold for cash to within 10 per cent of the total volume of production the moment it is completed; third, that being exempt from commercial demand for change of form, this article can be built through special machine-tool equipment of enormous cost—these three extraordinary characteristics place the Ford shops in a class by themselves for their certainty of money-making and exemption from rivalry with their product or competition for their gains.
These are not merely unconsidered assertions made in the interests of the Ford Motor Company. On the contrary they are the carefully matured conclusions of a widely inclusive search for the ultimate causes of the profits which compel a steady flow of vast sums of money through the Ford treasury, day in and day out, the whole year round.
The motor car had its epoch of opportunity, and Henry Ford was fortunate enough to make the car best fitted of all cars of its date to seize this opportunity, and to give this car sufficient vitality and stamina to enable it to hold what it grasped. He who best supplies a universally existent human desire has Fortune at his feet, as all students of commercial success are well aware. Mankind at large will surely purchase whatever meets its desires, and the lower the price the wider the field of sale. That is the foundation of trade at large, and what is here said of the true cause of the Ford car success cannot possibly be controverted.
The Ford factory holding thus, as it certainly does, a position commercially unique, may be safely expected to show very marked features of factory practice, wholly unlike the practice of any other existing factory , because the practice of every factory must be dominated by commercial conditions solely, if it is to continue in active existence, and the Ford factory does not disappoint those who expect to find its practice unique at vital points.
Maximum Production the Objective
The urgent demand for maximum production is the dominant condition which governs every activity of the Highland Park shops. It is true that the automobile trade at large has its dull trade season of the year, that the spring and summer sales of motor cars vastly exceed those of the fall and winter, so far as the purchases of actual car-users are concerned; but nothing of this season-of-the-year-governed call for cars is ever felt in the Ford shops to the extent of giving the factory a slack period. The Ford system of branches and local sales agents acts as a reservoir of production; so that, because the maximum yearly production of the Ford car-building shops has never yet equaled the prospective demand for cars in the near future, the Highland Park shops are always worked to full capacity.
The Highland Park shops are very far from manufacturing the entire Ford car. A long list of components, both rough and finished, are purchased from outside suppliers, who produce and sell to the Ford Company the bodies, wheels, tires, coil-box units, carburetors, lamps, 90 per cent of the car-body painting, all drop forgings, all roller and ball bearings , grease cups, spark-plugs, electrical conductors, gaskets, hose connections and clips, horn, fan-belt, muffler pipe, and part of the bolts. It is the policy of the company to deal with several suppliers of the same component, to ensure supply by drawing from several sources (which certainty of supply could not be had from any single producer) and also to make possible avail of competitive advantages not to be had if the total orders were placed with a single producer only.
Because the Ford Motor Company has but one production unit, the Ford car, and because the commercial demand for these cars has been, from the very first up to now, in excess of the plant production supply, the Ford production order is largely a matter of form and anticipatory surmise, based, as to quantity, on the "best judgment" of the sales department.
This commercial condition of being always over-sold must, of course, dominate the Ford factory activities in all directions, and does, in point of fact, make the fixing of a production limit by an inflexible production order an impossibility.
The Ford fiscal year begins and ends October 1, and inventory is taken at that time, by actual count and survey. The Ford shops are minutely systematized, and all accounts are carefully and accurately kept; no purchase order is issued without what amounts to a complete inventory of the component under replenishment, so that, save to discover theft, the Ford shops might dispense with the costly function of "inventory by count and survey" altogether, so far as fixing purchase order quantities is concerned.
Prior to October 1 of each year a consultation between the salesdepartment heads and the manufacturing department is held, and the estimate of the number of cars to be turned out during each individual month of the year to come is marked in the twelve month-spaces on a large sheet of section-lined paper, ten spaces to the inch. This monthly car-production number is communicated to the factory heads, and is used as a basis for the purchase-order department; but the original numbers of cars to be produced in any month to come may be changed on advices from the sales department.
As the fiscal year goes on, the factory superintendent plots a "production curve" on the large sheet of section-ruled paper headed by the twelve spaces filled with the car-production quantities of the individual months, and thus obtains a diagram which shows the factory car output in detail and in total, at a glance, as the months progress. Meantime, the factory departments are producing finished components to meet the requirements of the production-order schedule, and it would seem that, with an accurately compiled record of finished stores produced, checked by an accurate record of complete cars, complete assembled units, and finished components shipped from the Highland Park plant, there should never be a moment's doubt or question as to the individual finished-component stores on hand and ready for use by the assemblers, so that all prospective shortages of components would be accurately known and replenished to the safety mark long before the prospective shortages became a present actual condition; but such is not the facl.
Location and Arrangement of Offices
The offices of those departmental heads directly instrumental in machine-shop supply and working are located on the west side of the machine shop, begin at an east-and-west line through the middle of the Administration building, and extend northward, in the following order: First and second, anteroom and office of the machine-shop superintendent , who has one assistant, the two working together in such absolute harmony that I was informed that they were of equal rank, which appears to be the truth in practice, though not in accordance with the register of officials; third, inspector-in-chief; fourth, buildings maintenance ; fifth, the clearing house, which is also the stock-superintendent's office, and sixth, the shortage-chaser's desk, shared with the clearinghouse chief clerk. Close at hand the clerks working under orders from the clearing-house chief clerk, who keeps board and book records of all components produced, are stationed, all in an unenclosed space.
The Stock Superintendent
The Ford Company's purchase routine is very full and elaborate, so elaborate, indeed, that no short story of it can be made adequate and it must be reserved for a supplementary chapter.
Requisitions are based upon the production volume determined upon at the first of the year, in connection with the data of a remarkable continual inventory of components on hand in the main and branch establishments . Contracts are not generally made for the entire season's need, but in larger or smaller lots, following the indications of the market .
When a delivery has been ordered on a purchase contract, the purchasing agent turns over the particulars of the transaction to a "followup " assistant, who keeps after it continuously until shipment is made. As soon as he has details of shipment date, car numbers, and routing, the supervision of the movement passes to the traffic department, who keep in touch with the consignment until the goods arrive at the unloading platform. They then enter into the custody of the material department,
by whom they are routed to the exact point of use in the shops. A system of sectional letters and numbers, conspicuously painted on columns and girders, guides even the uneducated foreign labor used for handling and trucking to the correct destination. In case of over-accumulation of stock at any point, the routing clerk is notified by telephone and directs a new place of delivery until the stock has been reduced at the point of congestion. Wherever possible, purchase orders provide for shipment in packages of exact count size, thus greatly facilitating inspection for quantity. All material is strictly charged and credited from department to department, according to the quantity that passes inspection . Rejections are charged, billed, and shipped back to sellers.
The stock receiving is in charge of one individual, the stock superintendent , who has an office between that of the machine superintendent and that of the shortage chaser, with one principal office assistant and six office clerks. He has besides 1,285 men outside of the office—department stock keepers, checkers, counters, and weighmasters, with a horde of stock handlers and truckers, who go where he says go, and come as bidden. Besides this considerable manual force, the stock superintendent has control of all traveling cranes and the electric monorail service.
The machine-shop traveling crane-way extends through the shop on north and south lines and covers a railway siding. The monorail lines surround the machine-shop floor and extend from the factory building line on John R Street to the eastern end of the foundry, besides having various other lines of travel inside the machine shop.
The Ford shops receive by rail about seventy carloads per day of freight from outside suppliers, and send out about one hundred and seventy -five cars loaded with Ford automobiles, daily.
Test pieces from rail shipments of pig-iron and bar-steel go to the chemist for analysis before unloading begins, and if the analysis is not to specifications the car is side-tracked; such instances have been known but are, of course, extremely rare. The analysis is satisfactory as a rule, and the checkers and counters and weighers are set to unloading the car as soon as may be after the chemist's report is in hand. Sheet steel is taken in without analysis and the stock received may go anywhere on the premises, but is usually sent to one of the many regular stock-receiving departments. Drop forgings, of which the Ford Company uses about $5,000,000 value yearly, are unloaded on the platform south of the smithy and foundry, which presents a very busy scene during work hours.
The Ford Shop Transportation
One of the principal problems placed before the Ford engineers is that of transportation within the factory walls. The lightest complete Ford car weighs about 1,400 pounds, and if a thousand cars a day are turned out at least 1,400,000 pounds of materials must be moved daily, not once only, but many, many times over, each day, in the course of construction. Hence the traveling cranes, hence the many monorail lines, and hence the great numbers of truckers, and pullers and pushers and roustabouts in general, everywhere visible in the Ford shops during working hours. The unrelenting push of sales orders has forced the management to work for constantly expanding production capacity, regardless of everything else. At the time of this writing the first two of a series of new six-story buildings, each floor having seventeen landing stages served by an overhead traveling crane, are approaching completion ; and with this great increase of floor area, supplemented by efficient traveling-crane service, much of the present hand trucking and roustabout work will be eliminated.
The Ford pay-roll is split about evenly between direct and indirect production labor, and the stock general superintendent's item of 1,285 men outside of his own office gives something of an idea of what the mere handling and placing of the 1,000-cars-per-day construction-materials cost. Not only is the fullest possible use made of the traveling cranes and the monorail system, but endless-belt and endless-chain transportation is established in many locations. Most of all, however, the Ford engineers have taxed the convolutions of their brain surfaces to shorten the lines of natural work-travel on the factory floors, first by 'crowding machine-tools together far closer than I have elsewhere seen machine-tools placed, and next by first finding the shortest possible lines of production travel of every car component, integral or assembled, and then placing every production agent needed either directly in that shortest line, or as near that line as possiblejjto the extent of placing even the brazing fires where most travel-saving advantage demands.
It is of record that in the old Piquette Street days, previous to the time when any attempts at Ford shops systematizing were made and chaos reigned supreme, the first systematizer found that the Ford en-bloc 'four-cylinders casting traveled no less than 4,000 feet in course of finishing , a distance now reduced to about 334 feet.
At first sight the Ford close tool-placing seems to be carried even beyond the limit of economical application in labor-cost reducing; but a 1 somewhat extended observation of the more congested areas of Ford machine-shop floor space failed to find a single instance in which the workmen did not have all the room necessary for economical action, j It is true that the wanderer in the Ford shops is forced to keep to main lines of travel, where much care is needful to avoid a mishap through the monorail trains overhead or by way of the never-pausing hand-truck traffic on the floor level, but I am forced to the conclusion that even the closest spacing of machine tools in the New England manufacturing machine shops is still prodigal of floor space. Every factory economist well knows that every square foot of floor space carries the'same tax of overhead costs, which cannot be recouped save by placing a profit-earning load thereupon. Yet the traditions of the Elders yet carry weight in spite of the missionary labors of Mr. Taylor and his disciples, and perhaps the Ford shops are doing an unguessed cost-reducing service in showing how closely even the larger of the small machine tools may be placed with no loss of per-hour efficiency.
Of course, after what has been here said, the visitor will not expect to find in the Ford shops any examples of orthodox machine-tool placing in generic groups, lathes together in one place, drilling machines, milling machines and planing machines each in a group by themselves. The automatic screw machines, which are great floor-space consumers unless placed diagonally, force segregation, and obtain it. The large drawing-presses which produce the pressed-steel crank-box are also in a line by themselves, since labor saving and transportation saving both demand the grouping, and two long lines of Bliss presses producing many different articles in sheet metal are placed back to back to enable one long horizontal belt traveling between them to carry all the work produced to the eastern end, where two men stand and sort the products, each into a receptacle of its own kind.
The gear cutters, both spur and bevel, are placed in bunches where their finished product can be built into the appropriate assembly with least transportation, and a long line of Potter and Johnson automatic lathes are the first machine tools to meet the eye of one entering the machine floor from the Administration building, because these tools work on single pieces and can economize floor space by close end-to-end placing.
But when it comes to brazing furnaces, which are usually regarded as unthinkable on a machine-shop floor, and are relegated to separate and despised quarters, often far out of the natural line of component travel, the Ford engineers have no hesitation in placing them as nearly as may be in the natural production line of travel, and brazing fires are seen in many unexpected places in the Ford shops.
The Ford Workers
Having shown the factory buildings, and stocked the department, rather hurriedly it must be confessed/the place is now ready to hire in men. Molders? Core makers? Smiths? Machinists? Not in numbers to notice. The foundry superintendent asserts thatjif an immigrant, who has never even seen the inside of a foundry before, cannot be made a first-class molder of one piece only in three days, he can never be any use on the floor; and two days is held to be ample time to make a firstclass core maker of a man who has never before seen a core-molding bench in his life.
Tool-Makers, Experimental-Room Hands and Draftsmen
These constitute the aristocracy of every shop. They must be good, they must be experienced, and the better they are and the bigger wage they can earn the more valuable they are to the shop, f The Ford shops work about 250Jool makers and 20 men or so in the experimental room, and a large force of metal-pattern makers in the foundry pattern shop, all of whom must be first-class mechanics. The Ford management asserts that its tool makers are as good as can be found in the world, although they are nearly all of western growth, and what tool-making jobs I have noticed in the tool-making department were certainly being well done. The Ford Company has a large quantity of shop special-tool work constantly in progress, and all special tools at work in the machine shop so far as noticed showed as good design and construction as need be. Nothing is scamped or hurried in the Ford shops tool-making, as might be assumed without writing the assertion in so many words, because economy in tool-making is always rank extravagance on the balance sheet. The general appearance of the tool room and its equipment is shown in the illustration on page 6 of the preceding chapter, in which the large installation of Hendey lathes is especially noticeable.
As to machinists, old-time, all-round men, perish the thought! The Ford Company has no use for experience, in the working ranks, anyway. It desires and prefers machine-tool operators who have nothing to unlearn, who have no theories of correct surface speeds for metal finishing , and will simply do what they are told to do, over and over again, from bell-time to bell-time. The Ford help need not even be ablebodied.
I had been told that all applicants for Ford jobs must be up to grade under a "military examination" by the Ford surgeons. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The employment agent, who looks applicants over before sending them to the surgeon for examination, said to me that so long as it seemed to him that a man could do work enough to pay overhead charges on the floor space he would occupy, he sent him to the examining surgeon. He quoted Henry Ford as saying "We must all live. If a man can make himself of any use at all, put him on, give him his chance, and if he tries to do the right thing we can find a living for him, anyway."
This Ford labor policy must have given hope, most valuable of all human possessions, to many and many a despairing brain. I Pursuing the work-applicants-examination story, Dr. Meade said: "No, the examination is not 'military' in any degree. We might accept a man with but one eye, or one hand, or one foot. The applicant must have no contagious disease, or if he has such a disease he may receive hospital treatment gratis if he shows a disposition to take care of himself until he has passed the condition of possible disease-communication. Chronic contagious disease is cause for peremptory rejection." } The Ford Company does not demand physical perfection in its workers; it simply takes such precautionary steps in hiring workmen as are, from the standpoint of the wise factory manager, necessary to give a fair prospect of that mutually profitable interdependence of the employer and the employed, which is the only satisfactory and altogether just embodiment of the working relations of capital and labor.
It is of vital importance to successful factory management that workmen should be steady in their habits, and dependable in the point of continuous service. Of course, there are occasions which fully justify the worker's absence from his place during work hours, and by making statement to his foreman the Ford shop hand can obtain leave of absence for such time as may be needful. Absence without previous notice is rigidly disapproved, and upon return from unpermitted absence the worker is at once taken to the watchman's office, a form is filled out, with excuse for absence fully detailed, and signed by the workman, who is then taken to the physician's office and "investigated." Should the medical staff find the excuse valid, the workman is permitted to resume his duties, in good standing. If the workman's excuses are not deemed satisfactory he may be either discharged outright, suspended, or "admonished " by his superiors with a view to his own good, before beginning work a new.
And in general, the Ford Company claims that it is best for all concerned that it should stand in an advisory position as to the conduct of each of its workmen, and should assist, lead, and guide him in the right direction to make such use of his natural powers and abilities as will best conduce to his own value to himself as a man, and to the Ford Company J as an employee.
Of course, the man who begins to act as conscience to another man has a long road before him, as such a course can easily be made to end in paternalism carried to a degree of inclusiveness commonly looked for only in the most rigidly self-righteous of New England households. Let not the reader hasten to conclusions based on meager information . All economists are agreed that the only reason why any one man works for another man is because the hired man does not know enough to be the director of his own labor. And, incontrovertibly, the employer! being wiser than the employed, the wisdom of the employer should be applied to the benefit of the employed, to some extent at least. So far, the Ford Company's efforts to be of real service to its toilers has been productive of absolutely nothing but good, with no qualifying addendum whatever.
Hiring Ford Hands
I Eleven form blanks of prime importance are used in hiring, working, and discharging hands, and keeping needful workmen's records. There are, of course, a vast number of other form blanks relating directly to labor in use in the Ford shops, where at least one-half of the clerical labor goes to prevent carelessness and dishonesty, but the eleven here specified are vitally needful.
The Employment Office
The employment office is in charge of one head, who has one assistant , one interpreter, one record keeper, and one typist. The special feature of the office furniture is the workmen's record-envelope filing cabinets, in charge of the records keeper, who at this date, March 26, 1914, has about 108,000 hired, discharged, quit and laid-off records on file, the records being complete, and containing one envelope for each workman employed by the Ford Company since the time of record establishment.
The minor equipments of the employment office include a board on which hang rubber stamps designating factory departments, a vertical wall-file of trades, to be displayed on the Manchester Avenue door as occasion demands, and chairs for waiting employment applicants., The Ford badge, here shown full size, is a piece of sheet Germansilver stamping, with a spring safety pin and catch fixed on its back. The high numerals, four-places, are 9,999 and prefaced letters separate the badges into series; any desirable number of these badges, always with the same serial letter, may be ssigned to any one department, and the same serial letter numbers may cover several departments, each department having assigned to it as its own belonging , numbers in serial rotations, as, say, C-l to C400 , for one department, followed by C-401 to C-800 for some other department. All Ford employees paid The Ford Badge from the time-keeper's office must wear this badge (which bears the same number as the time-clock ticket), must pass the time-clock when entering or leaving, and are known by the badge number only on the Ford time-keeping and wagepaying records.
Every day is pay-day for some part of the Ford working force, and the entire time-keeping and pay-roll routine is ordinary practice. The pay is made up once in two weeks.
A private membership association, in which no subscriber is permitted to invest more than $2 per month, membership open to all, advances money to workers in need, at the rate of 10 cents for the use of $5 for from one to thirteen days, all loans charged against pay-roll credits and paid next pay day. This makes the membership borrower his own loan-shark, as the profits from advances go wholly to the association subscribers. Of course, the fore-handed subscriber who never asks advances is the greater gainer, but it is far better for the man who is forced to solicit a loan to apply to an association of which he himself is a member than to go to an outside Shylock for assistance.
These are kept in envelopes, which are filed in index boxes, and have an alphabetical index based on the first three letters of the surname of the worker, past or present.
The employment office receives and files a very large number of employment-requesting letters, and upon requisition for labor first refers to this applicants' letter file, and if it does not obtain men enough therefrom , next makes application to the Manufacturers' Association of Detroit, of which the Ford Motor Company is a member, and so commonly fills all demands for labor promptly.
Factory Labor Requisitions on the Employment Department
Formerly, any department foreman could make direct requisition on the employment department for more men. This practice has been changed, the department foreman being now required to forward labor requisitions to the machine-shop heads, who then notify the employment department of the department foreman's requisition, thus placing responsibility on the machine-shop heads, instead of on the department foremen.
March 9, 1914, the Ford machine-shop superintendents had under their direction 11 department foremen, 62 job foremen, 84 assistant foremen, and 98 sub-foremen, 255 men in all above the rank of ordinary workmen, and all having the power of discharging workmen at will. The sub-foreman is also known in the Ford shops as the "straw boss."
Until within the last twelve months discharge by any foreman was absolute and final. The "straw boss," one grade above the ordinary workman, seems to have been inclined to accentuate his slight elevation by "personal feeling" discharge of his subordinates. This was before the bonus day, when men were not clinging to their Ford jobs as they are now, and the straw boss's arbitrary discharge brought about such a condition of labor affairs that at one time the Ford Motor Company was hiring about 500 new men per day to maintain a working force of about 15,000.
The straw boss had to have the right of discharge to give him authority , and, indeed, it is one of the traditions of labor employment that discharge by any superior is final as against the workmen. But the discharge of old hands and hiring in of new men to replace the discharged, at the rate of 500 per day, is a costly affair, andj it was finally decided to give the discharged workman a right of appeal to an impartial tribunal. This innovation showed its working value by an immediate reduction of the foremen's labor requisitions on the employment department. The discharged workmen fought the discharge, the discharging foreman had to show good cause for his act, and of course, became very careful to be sure of cause before acting, all with the highly desirable result of reducing the daily average number of hands now, March, 1914, discharged or taken on, to about five or six per day each way, in or out.
This whole matter of the straw boss is of much importance to the factory manager who wishes to cheapen component production in repetitions by the use of specialized laborers, and at the same time desires to pay the specialized laborer skilled-labor wage. The monotony of repetitive production can be alleviated only by a satisfactory wage-rate, and is, perhaps, much more easily endured by immigrants, whose home wage stood somewhere about 60 cents for 10 hours' work, than by nativeborn Americans. The straw boss is indispensable where the immigrant is the principal worker.
The high mark of the Ford employment department was 526 men hired. This number fell off 200 almost immediately after the discharge appeal was inaugurated, and has now dropped to what appears to be about the legitimate normal. Evidently the straw boss, sure of the finality of his discharge, became a malevolent despot, but at once came to his senses when he was forced to show good grounds for discharge.
I cannot forbear here repeating my statement that the successful results of the Ford Company's unprecedented methods of utilizing unskilled labor in skilled repetitionproduction are of the highest interest, and should be fully detailed for careful study by all large employers of repetition workers.
Ford Pay Rolls
There are two Ford Company pay rolls, the administration building pay roll and the factory pay roll. The factory pay roll is made up in the factory time office, from factory time-clock ticket records. The administration pay roll is made up from administration building time-clock tickets, by the administration building paymaster.
The administration building time clocks are placed in the basement, the men entering to south of main entrance and the women to north of main entrance, through basement doors, passing the time clocks and making their time-card records.
Returning to the Ford employment-department routine, [the applicant , having obtained medical-department approval, returns to the employment department and gives the replies needful for filling the employment record form, printed in black on white paper, 5 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches high, reproduced on page 47 on a smaller scale.
The employment record is filled by the employment department, and receives the applicant's signature in the indicated space. Next, the employment department selects a badge and clock-card number not then in use in the department to which the applicant is assigned, fills the name space and also fills out an identification ticket, separates the identification -ticket coupon, and files it by date. This coupon seems to be a negligible item, said to be "seldom referred to." The clock card and identification ticket are then given to a messenger, who first takes the applicant to the particular time clock belonging to his shop location, where the messenger instructs the applicant in the art of making clock records on the clock card and leaves the clock card in its rack. From the time clock the messenger then guides the applicant to his department foreman, who receives and files the applicant's identification ticket, which act places the applicant in work.
All clocks are electrically synchronized with one master clock, which is kept to Western Union time, and all time clocks are supplied by the the International Time Recording Company, of Endicott, New York, price $250 each. Onejiundred and twenty-nine clocks are in constant use, and there are six spare clocks, all under charge of one individual, who visits each clock daily, examines it to see that it is in working order, and, if not, replaces it with one of the spare clocks, and as soon as may be repairs the faulty clock.
The Clock Card
This is a regular International clock card, printed in black on one side as here reproduced, and in red on the other side, save the serial letter and number, which appear in black on both sides. The card body is stiff manila 3% inches long by 9 inches high, with workman's pay check coupon at top, 2Vi6 inches high, and duplicate timekeeper's pay record below.
This clock card is used as follows: The first time the workman makes a clock record on his card he removes the coupon pay-check, and retains it until paid; the regular pay-day is five days after written date on card. If the workman loses this coupon he notifies the time office at once, where payment is stopped on the lost coupon, and upon convincing evidence the time office issues a duplicate pay-check coupon to the workman, who is penalized for carelessness by an added three days of delay in pay-receiving.
All clock tickets are removed daily by the time-office manager, who takes them to the time office where the time is extended into the right-hand column of day spaces, and the time office returns the clock card to the clock rack in time for the next record by workmen. All clock card racks are covered by a door which is kept locked by its department time keeper, who opens it 30 minutes in advance of bell-time, and stands guard over it until the ringing of the time-bell, when the department time keeper closes and locks the clock-card rack door. This routine has been forced upon the time office to prevent fraudulent practices of workmen in making clock records. One clock card remains in the rack for 14 days, and is then removed to the time office, which fills a new clock card, same badge number, and places it in the clock rack, ready for the next 14 days' time-clock record.
Substantial manila stock, open at right-hand end, with flap, not gummed; size, 6 inches wide by 4 inches high, printed in black, on one side only, as here shown.
So long as any pay is due workman, this record-of-employee envelope is kept on file in the time office. When the workman is paid in full, and leaves the Ford service, the time office encloses a "Discharged" form in the record envelope, crossing out the "discharged" and filling in the "reason" space with appropriate record if the man quits of his own notion, and then sends the record envelope to the employment department , where it is filed under an alphabetical record of the first three letters of workman's surname.
Size, 5 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide, with coupon at left end 1 inch wide, large letter in red, same on coupon and on body. Filled by employment department. Coupon filed in employment department, body sent with applicant to department foreman, who places man in work by act of filing body of identification ticket in foreman's cabinet file. Material, stiff white cardboard. The red letters on the identification ticket are the serial letter of the workman 's badge number . The identification ticket is filed and permanently retained by the work man's foreman save in case of workman's transfer to another department , when it goes with the man to his new department, where the identification ticket is filed by the foreman as before.
Recommendation for Advance
Printed in black on one side only of pale pink form,\5^Jinches long by 3 1/2 inches high. Filled by applicant's foreman, sent by foreman to superintendent's office for approval, and then sent to time office, where it is enclosed in workman's record envelope and held so long as the man remains in the Ford service.
Printed in black on one side only of yellow paper, size, 4% inches wide by 3 inches high. Filled by workman's foreman, accepted by department superintendent, transmitted to time keeper, filed in workman 's record envelope in time office, so long as man remains in the Ford service.
Printed in black on salmon -colored sheet, 5 1/2 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches high. Filled by foreman, and given by foreman to discharged workman , as warrant to paymaster for instant payment; taken up by paymaster on payment, filed and held by paymaster. This "discharged" form does not go into the workman 's record envelope.
Report of Departmental Discharge
This form became necessary when the workman's right to appeal from discharge by foreman was inaugurated. I The foreman can discharge a man from his department only. The man may protest his discharge and seek employment in some other Ford department if investigation proves him worthy. Upon discharge by departmental foreman, the foreman fills out Form 868, addressedto the employment office and by him transmitted thereto, accompanied by the man's identification ticket and clock card and the workman himself. The man may then protest his discharge to the head of the employment department , who passes on the case and may either make the discharge final, or decide that the man may be a worthy servant.
In the latter case, he files the man's name as an applicant for Ford service, and if possible places the man at once in another department, using the "Report of Persons Transferred" form to place the man in work in his new department.
Departmental Discharge Form The word "Over," lower right corner, merely gives room on the back for added discharge-causes specification space, should more space be needed. Size 5 inches wide by "7% inches high. Printed in black, on white paper. This foreman's discharge notice is held and filed alphabetically in the employment department for future consideration, in case the man should be again discharged by another departmental foreman, and should again protest his discharge.
For convenience in accounting, the Ford Company uses two productive" time tickets, and one "productive time-ticket form. The "non-productive" time-ticket form having the more extended use is shown in Form 759. Form 764, "Time Ticket, Tools and Patterns," is used as specified, while Form 915, "Productive Time Ticket," is used for all persons directly engaged in Ford car production.
Form 764, "Time Ticket, Tools and Patterns," is used for tool and fixture designers and draftsmen, wood-pattern makers and metal-pattern makers, and tool-makers. It is a stiff manila card, printed in black, one side only, size 3% inches wide by inches high, shown here reduced. Form 915, productive time ticket, is used by all workmen or workwomen directly employed in production of the Ford car. It is a stiff manila card, printed in black on one side only, size 3 3/4 inches wide by 6 3/8 inches high. Form 759. This form of non-productive time ticket is used by all Ford employees save tool and fixture draftsmen, tool-makers, and pattern -makers, who all use Form 764 time ticket. Form 759 is a stiff manila card, 6 1/2 inches wide by 3% inches high, printed in black, on one side only.
Change of Address
The Ford Company prints in black, on white paper, one side only, size 5 inches wide by 2% inches high, a notice in these languages: English, Italian, German , Polish, Greek, Turkish, Russian and Roumanian, and places it in the hands of every employee whose name is on the pay roll. Great inconvenience was at one time experienced from failure of hands to give notice of habitation change. This notice, in the eight languages mentioned, is reproduced on page 59.
Better Advantage Notice
Productive Time Ticket This is a request to workers to advance their own and the company 's interests by advising foremen of the workman's own opinion of his most useful sphere of activity. Mr. Ford wanted a Swiss watchmaker for work of his own, outside of the shops. One was found, running a drill press. The heat-treat department wanted a skilled firebrick layer, for furnace work. He was found, also running a drill press, proved master of fire-brick handling and construction, and now holds the position of general inspector of furnace condition and furnace repairer, very much to his own gain and that of the company. The man who is down and out is, as a rule, little inclined to talk when he has faced starvation and has obtained work which puts food in his mouth. This form of the Ford Company goes to every worker, and, while it simply offers to use the man for the Ford Company's best purposes , it also gives the man the hope that his own best estimate of himself will be gladly listened to by his employer. This is a wise and kind encouragement to the worker, which is probably always of value in case of immigrant employment.
To meet the requirements of this request, Form No. 947, "Occupation Record," is provided and given out to employees, to be filled and signed by any employee and given by him to his foreman, who may transfer the applicant to a more suitable department, or send the filled and signed occupation record form to the employment office for suitable attention. The "Occupation Record" is a stiff white card, 5 inches wide by 3 inches high, printed in black on one side only.
Ford Factory Women Workers
About 250 names of women are on the factory pay roll; their time is kept at the factory time-keeper's office. Applicants are invariably friends of employees, and make personal application to forewoman of department they wish to enter. In case the forewoman views the applicant favorably, she fills a regular application for employment form and sends it to the employment department, and the routine is then the same as for male applicants. The women workers have an exclusive entrance at the northwest corner of the factory, from Woodward Avenue.
Ford Plant Work Hours
March 9, 1914, work hours and labor recompense at the Ford Motor Company's Highland Park plant were as follows: Eight hours constitute a day's work. This rule is rigidly enforced, save in maintenance or alterations, where the workmen are forced to work such hours as factory conditions demand or permit, making avoidance of overtime impracticable; in case of maintenance and alterations overtime the pay is one and one-half day rates. For sufficient reasons the working hours of day-wage earners are fixed as follows, at the present time.
Begin at 8:15 a. m., work to 12:00, noon, take one hour for lunch, begin at 1:00 p. m. and work to 5:15 p. m., making an 8-hour day. Males over 22 years of age contributing to the support of others and of "approved" personal conduct, receive $5 for 8-hours work. No overtime .
Girls and women, of whom there are many employed in the administration building, draw a minimum rate of $65 per month. This rate was $40 per month previous to the bonus declaration of January 5, 1914. Department heads are recompensed by salary and bonus both, in varying sums not made public. Previous to the bonus declaration officials had a three weeks' vacation with full pay in each summer. This vacation gift is now withdrawn, all vacations being had at the vacator's own cost. Factory workers may work in one, two or three shifts.
Shift I. Begin at 12:00 midnight. Stop at 8:00 a. m.; 10 minutes gift for eating, from 4:00 a. m. to 4:10 a. m. The workers do not leave their places during the eating time, as a rule. Shift II. Begin at 8:00 a. m. Stop at 4:00 p. m., with 10 minutes gift for eating, from 12:00 noon, to 12:10 p. m. Shift III. Begin at 4:00 p. m., work to 12:00 midnight, with a gift of 10 minutes eating time, from 8:00 p. m. to 8:10 p. m. At the time of this writing, March 9,1914, the core-makers, the heattreating men, the watchmen, 45 in each shift, and the watchmen's record keepers in their room in the administration building, are working three shifts, the full 24 hours.
Machinists, Car Assemblers, Testers, Shipping and Stores—Receiving Force, Laborers, and Truckers, Working Two Shifts
Shift I. Start at 6:30 a. m., stop at 10:30 a. m.; take 30 minutes" of their own time for lunch, start at 11:00 a. m., and stop for day at 3:00 p. m. Shift II. Start at 3:30 p. m., stop at 7:30 to eat, taking 10 minutes of their own time; start work at 7:40 p. m., stop 11:40 p. m.; 29 cents per hour is the low wage rate; over 22 years of age and aiding in support of others and "acceptable," $5 for 8hours work.
Girls and Women in Factory
One shift only, 32 cents per hour minimum wage. Start at 7:30 a. m., stop at 12:00 noon, taking 45 minutes, own time, for lunch; start at 12:45, stop at 4:45. Saturdays, start at 7:30 a. m., stop at 11:30 a. m. Work 44 hours per week, full time.
One shift, from 8:00 a. m. to 12:00 m. Take one hour of own time, start at 1:00 p. m., stop at 5:00 p. m.
Others Working One Shift Only
From 8: 00 a. m. to 12: 00 m., 30 minutes of own time for lunch; start at 12:30 p. m., work to 4:30 p. m. If over 22 years of age and contributing to support of others, ancLaJso^ "acceptable," $5 per day of 8 hours. What is here detailed as to the relations of employer and employed in the Ford shops does not in any way or at any point cover the subject, but will enable the factory manager who follows these articles to form a general conception of the Ford animus toward workmen. \ At the date of this writing, March 28, 1914, 57% per cent of Ford workers have been pronounced "acceptable," and have been placed on the pay roll at "bonus" rates, which in many instances bring the workman's pay close to that of his foreman's. Naturally, the foremen are looking forward to some "readjustment" which will recognize their own superior value to the Ford Company. Prophecy is out of place here. It is the eventuation, the grand average of final eventuation, which interests the world at large. The Ford Company has no socialistic leanings, and is not making any claim to placing a shining example before the world's employers of labor. It simply has the cash on hand, and believes it will continue to have the cash on hand, to try to help its own hour-wage earners in its own way. That is the whole story up to date.