Tien P.


25 ans

Mon expérience

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General MotorsJanuary 1984 - January 2009

of total quality. Many unions as we know them today are General Motors (GM)
another product of the mass production era. Just as much of plant had been operated earlier by GM, and when GM
U.S. and European management is out of step with the reali- closed the plant in 1982, it had the worst record in the GM ties of today's worldwide business environment, so are these family-an unmanageable workforce, rampant absentee-
unions. Fundamentally, the traditional unions embrace the ism, and a quality record that was an embarrassment. When
concept of division of labor to a fault. Henry Ford's assem- the plant reopened in 1984 under joint management by
bler of 1913, tightening the same two bolts over and over Toyota and GM, the same equipment was in place, and the
again-never touching the third bolt-epitomizes their view workforce was composed of the same people who had been
of the worker. By making sure management could not require laid off a few years earlier. But everything else was different. him to service bolt 3, the union guaranteed a job for another The United Auto Workers (UAW) had signed a contract
assembler. This is not confined to the assembly line. In an that permitted the plant to be run according to the Toyota
engineering laboratory of an electronics firm with organized model. Work was to be performed by teams. Employee par-
labor, an engineer is forbidden to place a scope probe on a ticipation was expected. Division of labor was a thing of
circuit test point. That is the job of the union's technician. the past. NUMMI had four job classifications in contrast to
So the engineer tells the technician where to probe and looks some GM plants with 183. 4 The UAW went along with the over the technician's shoulder to see the response on the rules changes in return for a no-layoff policy. Everyone, it oscilloscope screen. Does the engineer need the technician to appears, turned out winners-the workers, the companies,
do this probing? Not at all. Does the technician in this role the union, and, most important, the customers. In a very
add value to the process? No. Would they both prefer to work short time, the cars rolling off the NUMMI line, Toyota under different rules? Certainly, the engineer would. But the Corollas and Geo (later Chevy) Prizms, were receiving the
union assures the technician of a job where one might argue top quality ratings in GM-virtually defect free. The Prizm
would exist without the union. had the best initial quality rating of all cars produced in the


United States or Europe in 1995, and it was only margin- leadership ability. So what is it that separates the good lead-
ally led by five very expensive Japanese models. Lest you ers from the ineffective?

Mes compétences

Teamwork, Strategic Planning, Quality Management, Purchasing, Human Resources, Community Management, Assembler