Threadway Tire Company

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1. Give a brief overview of the situation at Treadway Tires.

This Case present the Treadway tires’ management concern about the high foremen turnover at the Lima Ohio plant. This facility counts with approximately 970 unionized hourly employees which are supervised by 50 salaried, non-unions, floor level managers called line foremen. These foremen as First-line managers are responsible for the daily supervision of non-managerial employees at the areas of production, maintenance, material control and quality assurance work. Out of those 50 foremen, 23 had turned over in 2007.

Between 2003 and 2007 the tire industry experienced a skyrocketing increment of the raw material use on the tire fabrication; this raw material price is highly dependent of the oil price which has increased about 268% in this period. The raw material represents about 55% of the cost of producing a tire. The Treadway Tire Company it is looking ways to increase their efficiency, cutting cost and improving their productivity, the high foremen turnover doesn’t contribute with this objective.

Additionally according to the Human resources manager, their most successful general supervisor has risen from foreman ranks, and with the high turnover numbers they currently do not seem to be enough people in the foreman position with the potential to move up to the next level of management which also present and additional long term problem to the company.

2. How do foremen feel about their jobs?

An Employee satisfaction survey and exit interviews has unveil a solid discontent in the plant and highlighted concerns about the line-foremen position, also there has been several incidents between hourly workers and foremen that highly the tension between these 2 groups.

The foremen had expressed dissatisfaction in part to the lack of authority (power to hold people accountable for their actions and to make decisions concerning the use of organizational resources) over the hourly...
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