Thursday, June 5, 2008

Word of the Day

The word for the day today is "Attrition".

Dictionary.com defines the word in the following ways:

Attrition
–noun

1.a reduction or decrease in numbers, size, or strength: Our club has had a high rate of attrition because so many members have moved away.
2.a wearing down or weakening of resistance, esp. as a result of continuous pressure or harassment: The enemy surrounded the town and conducted a war of attrition.
3.a gradual reduction in work force without firing of personnel, as when workers resign or retire and are not replaced.
4.the act of rubbing against something; friction.
5.a wearing down or away by friction; abrasion.
6.Theology. imperfect contrition. See under contrition (def. 2).

I chose this word because it's used in two separate articles I read today by the brass of two of the big three in regards to cutting jobs.

"[Ford] notified workers it will cut white-collar salary costs 15 percent by Aug. 1, and an unspecified number of people will lose their jobs.'This unfortunately will result in involuntary separations of Ford employees and agency personnel as well as cost savings through attrition and the consolidation of open positions,' Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields said today in an internal email. (www.msnbc.com, "Ford to cut salaried workforce by 15 percent")

Referencing the buy out offer made to 19,000 GM workers, GM President of North America stated, "This attrition program gives us an opportunity to restructure our U.S. work force through the entry-level wage and benefit structure for new hourly employees."

I'm sure they'd like to have you believe that their use of the word is purely of the first or even the third definition, but it's very hard not to believe based on current events (see this article and my post from last night) that its derived from the 2nd or even the 4th or 5th definitions.

This is just more proof that we have to engineer a more sustainable vehicle. Not only to secure our future as an automaker, but that of those whom we employ and the businesses around us. It's gotta start somewhere, and going local is a good place!

Oh and ironically, the official word of the day on dictionary.com is "Tremulous", which many of those that work at GM and Ford are for sure after today's news.

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