[lbo-talk] Junkyard dog hits Motown

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Wed May 16 16:21:05 PDT 2007

On May 16, 2007, at 7:06 PM, Mr. WD wrote:

> FWIW, about a month ago, I put this question to an industrial engineer
> who works for a company that produces parts for American and Japanese
> automakers. He said the culture on the assembly lines in the American
> automotive plants is totally different from the Japanese automotive
> plants. The Japanese plants (i.e. those plants run by Toyota, Honda,
> etc. but not necessarily located in Japan), he said, have carefully
> choreographed every movement the worker makes. There's nothing
> extraneous (no extra tools, etc.) -- every move the worker does has
> been carefully studied and pre-planned.

Yeah, but I first heard about all this 20 or 25 years ago, and the Americans were supposed to be adopting it. (It's part of what the Labor Notes people call management by stress.) They kept failing. They were supposed to be catching up to the Japanese any day now since the mid-80s. They haven't. But Toyota and Honda can make it work in the U.S.

Of course, it sounds like hell on earth, the last word in alienated labor.


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