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Guangzhou auto union

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  • 1. May 27, 2010, Presentation to
    Guangzhou Federation of Trade Unions
    Cathy Walker
    Former Director, Health and Safety Department
    Canadian Auto Workers Union
    Automotive industryNorth America


3. china and canada are old friends:normanbethune
4.China and our Canadian Union:Old Friends, Vancouverunion leaders visited in 1967 and met Chairman Mao
5. Caw is the largest private sector union in canada
About 30% of workers are in unions in Canada
Better than in the U.S. but not as good as in Europe
6. CAW represents workers in a wide variety of industries
Auto assembly and auto parts
Mining and smelting
Health Care
7. Delegations from Chinese Unions visited our union in canadaChrysler Brampton Assembly Plant
8. Ive enjoyed visiting auto plants in china:
(1974 visit didnt see auto plants)
1991 First Auto Works, Changchun
2004 Beijing Jeep
2004 Toyota Tianjin
2004 Shanghai GM
2006 Beijing Hyundai
2008 Shanghai GM
2010 Beijing Benz
2010 Beijing Hyundai
2010 Yantai GM
9. 2004 beijing Jeep union meeting
10. BEIJING JEEP:Very Famous Workplace
11. GM Shanghai:very similar to GM Oshawa, canada
12. Shanghai GM union leadership
13. reasons for anitas study:
To show similarities between China and auto production elsewhere
And to analyze the differences and the reasons for the differences
14. Early motor vehicles north america evolved from bicycle, Henry Fords quadricycle, 1896
15. Whole vehicles made by one or a small group ofhighly skilled mechanics, 1901 henry ford
16. Mass production led to production efficiencyford assembly line, 1913
17. Interchangeable parts rather than having to make new parts for each vehicle
Model A, 1903, skilled fitter took 8.5 hours to builda major part of a car
Model T, 1908, completely redesigned assembly line so that each job took 2.5 minutes
1913 introduced moving assembly line so workers didnt have to walk between stations, reducing each job to under 2 minutes
18. Fordism, mass production means that jobs are divided into small parts so hundreds of unskilled workers, together, build hundreds of vehicles
19. Workers are alienated from the means of production, karlmarx
Capitalist owns the factory
And the workers are simply factors of production
20. fordism
A term coined by Italian Communist, Antonio Gramsci to describe a form of production characterized by an assembly line (conveyor belt factory system) and standardized outputs linked with the stimulation of demand brought about by low prices, advertising, and credit.
21. Many myths and half truths about ford
$5 a day, high wages
Workers should be able to own the vehicles they produce
But, the reality is that Ford did much to keep unions out of his factories
22. Ford used his own private police force and company goons
The company threatened firing and did fire people for talking union
Workplaces were full of favouritism and bribery, eg. Workers needed to give the supervisors a bottle of alcohol for better jobs
Company spied on workers personal lives
Shortage of labour during World War II meant workers had more power
23. 5 week strike in windsor, canada in 1945thousands of pickets blockaded plants
24. Finally, union is recognized and collective agreement achieved
25. We have achieved a lot in our collective agreements
Detroit Big 3 bargaining in Canada for 66 years
Each collective agreement has been for 3 years
We have had 22 consecutive collective agreements
26. CAW Collective Agrement with General Motors :446 pages
27. We bargain for better provisions
Collective agreements are the laws in our factories and we try to get provisions in them that are better than the law
28. Taylorismfrederickwinslowtaylor, american, 1856-1915
29. Taylor: task of factory management
determine the best way for the worker to do the job,
provide the proper tools and training
provide incentives for good performance
30. Taylor broke down each job
into its individual motions
analyzed these to determine which were essential, and timed the workers with a stopwatch
scientific management
31. taylor
eliminated unnecessary motion
thus workers followed a machine like routine, becoming far more productive
32. In mass production,Workers became cogs in machines:Boss Can Easily Speed up Production
33. Today, time and motion studies of workers jobs measure tiny fractions of a second
The effect is that workers no longer can work ahead on an assembly line to get small breaks
They have no time to rest within their jobs but must follow the steps laid out by management precisely or they cannot keep up
34. CAW bargained union- selected, company- paid worker time study representatives
The union trains these workers to be able to represent workers interests in ensuring jobs are not loaded with too much work
Especially during line balancing periods when new models are introduced, company industrial engineers try to put more and more work into each workers job on the assembly line
During line balancing periods when new models are introduced, the time study representatives are extremely busy arguing with company industrial engineers
Eventually either the union time study representative wins completely or at least a compromise is reached and the workload is reduced
35. Lean production, term began in 1988
John Krafcik, quality engineer in the Toyota-GM NUMMI joint venture in California
Identify and steadily eliminate waste
Continuous improvement
Work intensification
Leading to workers:
36. Free trade agreements made situation worse: deregulation, privatization
Mid- 1990s CAW did studies of workers to see what effect lean production was having :
16 auto parts plants workers
Also a study of auto assembly plants workers
37. Andon lightwarns of production problems, but what about worker problems?
38. Workplace undemocratic in canada
Only 17% reported that it would be easy to change the things they did not like about their jobs.
35% reported they had little if any opportunity to vary the pace of their work during the day.
31% had to find a replacement worker before they could go to the washroom.
48% reported they could train someone to do their jobs in a few days or less.
19% reported receiving some classroom based training in the last three months.
35% reported management was now collecting more information on their work performance.
39. workload
There were strong indications that workload was both excessive and increasing in the industry.
61% of those surveyed (61% of women and 61% of men) reported that their workload was either too fast, too heavy, had to be done by too few people, or in too little time.
52% of those surveyed (59% of women and 48% of men) reported that in the last two years their workload had increased, becoming either heavier, faster, or having to be done in less time. (6% reported their workload had been reduced.)
40. Work more stressful and unhealthy
51% of those surveyed (58% of women and 47% of men) reported high levels of workplace health risks.The health risks were considered to be high if workers reported at least two health risks from a list which included: working in pain at least half the days in the last month, working in an awkward position at least half the time, feeling tired after work most days, or being tense at work. *
41% of those surveyed (50% of women and 34% of men) reported their work had become less healthy in the last two years.
41. Unhealthy work
40% of those surveyed (42% of women and 39% of men) reported working in pain or physical discomfort half the days in the last month.
37% of those surveyed (40% of women and 35% of men) reported working in physically awkward positions at least half of each day.
44% of those surveyed (50% of women and 40% of men) reported that compared with a couple of years ago, their current job was more tense.
45% of those surveyed (56% of women and 38% of men) reported that compared with a couple of years ago, they were more tired lately after 8 hours of work.
42. Union response to lean productions work intensification and speed-up
We bargained union chosen, company paid for union ergonomics representatives to investigate ways of making jobs easier, redesigning jobs to make them more comfortable and less likely to produce injuries
43. ergonomics in gm shanghai follows procedures begun by union in canada and us
44. conferences and training on ergonomics
Union ergonomics representatives from the plants get together once a year and share their problems and solutions
Union developed a one week course for all auto union leadership on ergonomics so they will understand workers strains and sprains problems and the ways of solving them
Ergonomics conferences so more people will understand the problems and solutions
Ergonomics manual for workers, posted it on our home page
45. Union response to lean productions work intensification and speed-up
We bargained more time off during the year so workers have more vacation time, from 2 weeks paid vacation time per year for new workers up to 6 weeks paid vacation per year for older workers
We bargained more long weekends so workers will have more t