Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

Kaizening is happening at my job!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Kaizening is happening at my job!

    Hello guys! Long time i posted. Huh?

    Well the fact is that the company i work at is using the Toyota Model of "Exellence" in their production line. 'Lean production' in otherwords.
    The place is virtually falling apart with stress related health problems
    and sick-leave. Employe shortages and employment stop. I'm really beat today, i've been working too much and have been switched to an older workplace which i hated and don't get along with some of the other workers. Getting in touch with unions seem almost impossible since their office was closed today with a number to reach posted at the door. They are aware of the problem though (i heard). I started reading alot about this issue and got more entangled in it due to a component in the production method.

    http://mtprof.msun.edu/Fall1991/park.html
    http://tortoise.oise.utoronto.ca/~rroth/1953.htm

    I almost 'puked' due to what i was reading. I felt myself informed though, and told the others at my other workplace about this issue, and they were aware of the symptoms but not of the end result (or lingo used).
    As i read alot and have and have a reader's head for english (which is where the information is really happening). They (and a union representative) suggested that i get into the union actively as a representative. I'm unsure what to do at this stage. I'm pissed off! Thats for sure. And i feel alot for the people who worked REALLY hard before the Kaizening happened. I don't consider myself a communist, but one doesn't have to be one to know that things are going really bad for society at large.

    Thanks for reading since i don't know
    who to turn to with how i'm feeling.

    Have any of you guys out there been having these problems at work?
    I dread what will happen in the future!

    Peace out!

  • #2
    I don't consider myself a communist, either, but I have a strong belief in labour unions of every kind and worked actively in the National Union of Journalists as well as various 'Writers' Unions' since. With so much 'deregulated' it's necessary to keep those checks and balances in place. Necessary for the good of the nation, in my view. I remember the head of one corporation I was in the process of cutting myself off from reassured me that the corp was now 'much leaner'. I agreed they were leaner -- 'but you're still a dinosaur'. Lean dinosaurs are still dinosaurs and dinosaurs will do all they can to survive as dinosaurs before they have the impetus to evolve. Not enough is evolving in the US, these days, and that means the country will be less and less able to deal with competitors who are (like China) evolving incredibly rapidly.

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

    Comment


    • #3
      We've been through the whole lean production thing where I work, and it's a painful process. I can see the reasons for doing it but I think it's a shitty way to treat people. It ends up with a much reduced workforce augmented by temporary workers, so the business can 'flex' its workforce to meet market place demands. These are all followed up by numerous knee-jerk reactions to every minor crisis.
      'Annuallised hours' is the latest thing they're trying to bring in at our place.
      You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

      -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

      Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

      :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


      "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TheAdlerian
        Their technique of getting workers to reveal their time saving tricks so that they could add more work is heinously sinister!

        It’s more of the pimp mentality in action.

        Workers unite!
        So shutting up is a good thing.. But it seems impossible to do that. It's built into the system.

        Is there any information as to the long run of 'leaning' the workforce and kaizening a company? What will happen in society as a whole?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
          I don't consider myself a communist, either, but I have a strong belief in labour unions of every kind and worked actively in the National Union of Journalists as well as various 'Writers' Unions' since. With so much 'deregulated' it's necessary to keep those checks and balances in place. Necessary for the good of the nation, in my view. I remember the head of one corporation I was in the process of cutting myself off from reassured me that the corp was now 'much leaner'. I agreed they were leaner -- 'but you're still a dinosaur'. Lean dinosaurs are still dinosaurs and dinosaurs will do all they can to survive as dinosaurs before they have the impetus to evolve. Not enough is evolving in the US, these days, and that means the country will be less and less able to deal with competitors who are (like China) evolving incredibly rapidly.
          So one can say that companies stop evolving? What production technique's are china involved in.. I would really like to get into this thing 'cause it involves my hometown and i can get the answers to some of my questions.

          Comment


          • #6
            China's becoming involved in more and more industries and technologies. One of them, for instance, is stem cell research. They have a similar moral concern to Europe's (for instance) but are at least at par with research and research technologies and seem to be pulling ahead of us (the rest of the world). This is true in many levels of research and technology. They are not doing much in terms of conventional car production and, of course, are still horribly tied to fossil fuels, but they are in the process of developing alternative technologies as, of course, are various European countries. The US, being tied to oil and steel -- and favouring those
            industries still involved in producing them or producing technology which uses them -- is in serious danger of falling behind those countries which are beginning to consider new ideas.
            I haven't read anything about their computer industry, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were working on new ideas. My point is that the US isn't all that good at adapting -- note how far behind they were initially in accepting and using electronics like cellphones or even VCRs. It's always been astonishing to those of us coming from overseas to discover that ideas which have become casually familiar to us are still not accepted in the States. Once America DOES accept the ideas, of course, she's very good at absorbing them rapidly.

            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

            Comment


            • #7
              The reality behind the 'Kaizen' euphemism has surely existed for as long as the distinction between t'mill owners and t'mill workers has existed. I cut my professional teeth selling ad space for a small but fairly ferocious publishing company where the entire system was always on the brink of collapse without it ever quite happening. There was always slightly more to get done than could actually be done, slightly less money coming in for both the company and its employees than everyone felt there should be and so on. It seemed that that was the only way the company's owners could tell if the operation was operating at maximum throughput/output. Fortunately the employees were all young and had adrenaline to spare, while the pub next door helped to diffuse any stress. However, we were conscious of all of this and all realised we wouldn't spend our entire professional lives this way. I can only sympathise greatly with anyone who's had these conditions forced upon them.

              Comment


              • #8
                [quote="Zax"]The reality behind the 'Kaizen' euphemism has surely existed for as long as the distinction between t'mill owners and t'mill workers has existed.

                It feels like a regression into the twenties mentality but "with a smiling face". My brother once found employment papers from 1910-1930 loitering about in an abandoned office. The employer of the day had scribbled down what work they should be put to by their own biased judgements. "Looks like a criminal.. Should be given HARD physical work."
                There where many others like it. And i wish that he'd kept them with him.
                Because the name of the supposed 'criminal' was later recognized by a older worker. "Wasn't it that 'guys' grandfather?". When later asked. "Yeah! That was his name... What about it? WHAT?? A criminal? Bullshit!! He was a nice guy".

                I believe "judgements are relative to the person who makes them." And that includes everyone. And seeing these things happening today. I agree totally with Mike.. We are not evolving! Greed and avarice only puts on new clothes.

                I also read about some of the longterm effects of kaizening a company et al. Innovation steps down, because innovation comes mostly from the ground up. It's not about producing better products either. I worked with a guy who bought a Toyota Civic more than 6 months ago. And when he got the call that he could pick it up! One to two hours later he got a call saying that there was faults with the produced car and that he had to wait a couple of months for parts to be replaced. I told him to 'change brands'.

                For a company to work, better bosses/supervisors should be employed that change the working environment and make the employees feel like they are doing something out there. Give them a better understanding of market tactics and 'why' we have to work to their specific degree. Let new supervisors try the working enviroment for themselves. Then they will know how it works and what ability/stress level is required.

                There was a woman, at the place i work now, who had that attitude and
                position to make the workplace more habitable and enjoyable.
                People where getting better at producing the products, and enjoyed working more since someone cared for them and their workplace.
                Management (mostly male), however, got jealous and fired her for some stupid idiomatic/egocentric reason.

                "Not cost effective" was the jargon used.

                Widening the gap and dragging us into it with kaizen methods wont work in the end. It's like the fad of corporate take-overs in the eighties, and eighties mentality/culture is modern again. It doesn't create anything... Sucking up money for the privileged elite which are few in number. It's not Democratic Capitalism which they seem to be claiming by cooperative initiatives.. It's Ultra-Capitalism.


                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zax
                  The reality behind the 'Kaizen' euphemism has surely existed for as long as the distinction between t'mill owners and t'mill workers has existed. I cut my professional teeth selling ad space for a small but fairly ferocious publishing company where the entire system was always on the brink of collapse without it ever quite happening. There was always slightly more to get done than could actually be done, slightly less money coming in for both the company and its employees than everyone felt there should be and so on. It seemed that that was the only way the company's owners could tell if the operation was operating at maximum throughput/output. Fortunately the employees were all young and had adrenaline to spare, while the pub next door helped to diffuse any stress. However, we were conscious of all of this and all realised we wouldn't spend our entire professional lives this way. I can only sympathise greatly with anyone who's had these conditions forced upon them.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good points, Theocrat, in that twenties analogy. Interesting that we've discussed elsewhere how Ayn Rand's making a comeback in the US. Her labour union villains have weak, criminal faces (no doubt given to self-abuse, too) while her powerful captains of industry have square jaws and steely eyes.
                      Production is often improved, of course, when the workers are happy,
                      but part of the problem has to be the power of stockholders and the stock market. They make the demands for high returns. So who is driving all this nonsense ? Stock brokers or people who expect to become super-rich in five minutes via their investments. Worth reading the books Galsworthy wrote in the 20s, incidentally, which describes this malaise (which ended with the 29 crash). So much is now dependent on the league tables represented by the stock indices. Perhaps one of the advantages the Chinese have is that they are still mostly state-sponsored but increasingly using supply and demand logic, which means that you can ignore stockholders. I'm not saying China is perfect or that it has the answer, just that they have some advantages and are likely to outstrip the G7 if they continue to hang on to outmoded techniques. I'm reminded of how British industry indulged in a whole variety of strategies to hang on to its traditional methods and markets and failed almost entirely (either as nationalised or private industries, actually) to remain competitive.

                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X