WSJ had an article on bogus repairs on trains at port complex.
TERMINAL ISLAND, Calif.—Ten thousand railcars a month roll into this sprawling port complex in Los Angeles County. While here, most are inspected by a subsidiary ofCaterpillar Inc. CAT +0.44%
When problems are found, the company repairs the railcars and charges the owner. Inspection workers, to hear some tell it, face pressure to produce billable repair work.
Some workers have resorted to smashing brake parts with hammers, gouging wheels with chisels or using chains to yank handles loose, according to current and former employees.
In a practice called "green repairs," they added, workers at times have replaced parts that weren't broken and hid the old parts in their cars out of sight of auditors. One employee said he and others sometimes threw parts into the ocean.
It is bit ironic that the term “green repairs” is used to describe the practicer. What could be more non-green (environmental) than damaging a part to create a repair transaction.
Even so, they said, car men are under pressure to identify repair work to be done. The quickest way to do so, they said, was to smash something or to remove a bolt or other part and report it as missing.
They weren't instructed to do that, the workers said. But they added that some managers made clear the workers would be replaced if they didn't produce enough repair revenue.
"A lot of guys are in fear of losing their jobs because there's no work in California," said one worker, standing in front of his small ranch house a few miles from the Terminal Island ports.
Car men are expected to justify their hourly pay "and then some," this worker said. "If you find no defects, it's a bad night," he added, and that creates a temptation to "break something that's not broken."
This is a consequence of having performance based systems that are short sighted.