North American Auto Unions in Crisis: Lean Production As Contested Terrain (S U N Y Series in the Sociology of Work and Organizations)

In this edited volume, U.S. and Canadian political scientists, sociologists, and labor educators contribute to the debate of the crisis of the Fordist regime of mass production and its implications for organized labor. They present the first comparative cross-national study of the labor relations in Japanese North American automobile transplants, Japanese joint ventures with the Big Three automakers, and Japanese-style General Motors auto plants. They specifically focus on the challenges the Japanese lean production model has posed to North American auto labor's organizing, collective bargaining, and shop floor representation experiences and how the United Auto Workers and the Canadian Auto Workers have responded to these challenges. The authors point to the pressing need for the North American labor movement, whose legal rights are rooted in a mass production regime, to rethink its interests and goals if it is to successfully confront the formidable obstacles presented by a changing international and hemispheric political economy increasingly dominated by Japanese lean production practices.