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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
an e-mail:

Sad but all too true.

Date: Sunday, February 1, 2009, 6:08 PM

A Modern Parable

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.



On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.



Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing. Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.



They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.



They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers.. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters..



The next year the Japanese won by two miles.



Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.



The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India.



Sadly, the End.



Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages.



TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results:



TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.



Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses... and now wants the Government to 'bail them out'.



IF THIS WEREN'T SO TRUE IT MIGHT BE FUNNY
 

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I'm probably going to get blasted for this, but the UAW has been a huge reason for the auto companies going down the tubes in the U.S., right along with the huge salaries for management and CEOs.

My ex was a Ford tool and die maker, and from the stories I have heard, those people never put in an 8-hour work day in their lives (at least not at the Rouge plants). The Japanese have a strong work ethic and look with serious disfavor upon anyone screwing off or not performing their job. Not so here.

*ducking and running for cover before the stones hit me*
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
no need to duck, Jackie.

If I recall, you have 1st hand experience. Don't you work for an Asian company?
(my memory is not all that good anymore, but I know someone here does)
 

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No need to duck when you are telling the truth Jackie. Anyway you look at it you are right on the money (pardon the pun.)
 

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Isn't Ford at least doing better than the other two? The news I heard is that Ford wasn't asking for bailout money. This was a month or two ago though and things may have changed.
 

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kaisdad said:
Isn't Ford at least doing better than the other two? The news I heard is that Ford wasn't asking for bailout money. This was a month or two ago though and things may have changed.
As of now they are not taking any money, and, if I recall, they have enough cash to make it thru 2009. So in that sense they are a little better off.

As for unions, Jackie is right in the money. When we hear about contracts that require union memebers to receive almost full pay for no work...that is ridiculous. There is no other worker who gets that kind of benefit. It is a reason to want to get laid off, not a reason to work harder. And the fact that the US auto companies are in such dire circumstances you would think the unions would be willing to give up some things. As best I can tell, they have not. There is plenty of blame to go around, both from unions and management.

Even though Toyota may have made a profit in the 4th quarter, based on the incentives they are offering plus their sales tanked too, everyone has hit the skids.
 

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AmazonGold said:
I'm probably going to get blasted for this, but the UAW has been a huge reason for the auto companies going down the tubes in the U.S., right along with the huge salaries for management and CEOs.

My ex was a Ford tool and die maker, and from the stories I have heard, those people never put in an 8-hour work day in their lives (at least not at the Rouge plants). The Japanese have a strong work ethic and look with serious disfavor upon anyone screwing off or not performing their job. Not so here.

*ducking and running for cover before the stones hit me*
I've been to (and worked in) Japan and I'll disagree with your last statement. Sure on paper the Japanese go to work for long hours, but how much work actually gets done is a matter of dispute. (Eating breakfast at work after you punch in, singing the company song every morning, and staying at work until your boss leaves even if you have nothing to do).

Ford, GM and Chrysler dropped the ball long ago by refusing to make smaller more fuel efficient cars.

They also made some crappy cars. Ford kept producing the Pinto even after they knew it was a potential death trap if it was rear-ended. (My father steadfastly refused to buy a Ford after that car). The big three squandered public good faith and now wonder why no one wants to buy American.

http://www.fordpinto.com/blowup3.htm

My parents were loyal buyers of American (North American except for Ford) cars up until quite recently, when Toyota opened plants here and they couldn't justify the cost of repairs and depreciation of American cars.
 

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I'm not 100% of the facts behind this, but someone was telling me about how much better off the plants in the south are versus the ones up here that are all under the UAW's rules, at least financially.

My parents both worked in the auto industry for their entire lives, dad just got laid off and my mom's job doesn't look too good either, but we'll see. Hopefully things bounce back, but just like the article says, these US companies need to get their **** straightened out before that will happen.

I find it ridiculous that these idiot executives are getting bonuses for FAILURE. :no:
 

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FIL works for Ford and DH use to work in a company that made gears and pulleys for cars so he had to visit a few of the US auto plants. he said that half the people on the line did absolutely nothing but sit and shoot the shite all day. i agree with the person above who said how unfair it was for the auto workers to get laid off and receive 90% of their pay. that is absolutely ridiculous and it's a shame that it's taken this long for most of the US auto industries to see that. my husband said that US auto unions really sent them down the river.
 

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Sams Mom said:
AmazonGold said:
I'm probably going to get blasted for this, but the UAW has been a huge reason for the auto companies going down the tubes in the U.S., right along with the huge salaries for management and CEOs.

My ex was a Ford tool and die maker, and from the stories I have heard, those people never put in an 8-hour work day in their lives (at least not at the Rouge plants). The Japanese have a strong work ethic and look with serious disfavor upon anyone screwing off or not performing their job. Not so here.

*ducking and running for cover before the stones hit me*
I've been to (and worked in) Japan and I'll disagree with your last statement. Sure on paper the Japanese go to work for long hours, but how much work actually gets done is a matter of dispute. (Eating breakfast at work after you punch in, singing the company song every morning, and staying at work until your boss leaves even if you have nothing to do).
I do work in a Japanese-owned company, and the Japanese in our company do not eat breakfast on company time, do not sing any songs, are at work well before and long after the Americans, as well as on weekends, and they produce. When there is a serious problem at a customer and a machine has to be fixed ASAP, usually a Japanese tech is sent, because they will work until the job done. Our Japanese cutomers are the only ones who pay their bills in less than 30 days. In our company and all of the Japanese companies that we deal with, management is not rewarded for failure, they are demoted and sent down the line to work, or fired. Most Japanese companies also rotate their top brass regularly (every 3 to 5 years), so no one person is at the top for too long.

The UAW protects people who are incompetent and lazy, and they insist on beginners getting the same pay as people who have been on the job for 20 years. How stupid is that?
 
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