By Sally Klingel, Ann M. Martin
Read or Download A Fighting Chance: New Strategies to Save Jobs and Reduce Costs PDF
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Extra info for A Fighting Chance: New Strategies to Save Jobs and Reduce Costs
The contractual agreement calling for the formation of a CST in such a situation was activated, and the work force was told that a study team was necessary. The work force was not told the enormity of the task, however. When volunteers for a second study team were solicited, the response of the work force was twofold. People felt alternately that management was using the threat of outsourcing and the CST process just to lower costs, or that the decision to outsource had already been made and that Xerox and the ACTWU 25 management was activating the CST only as a formality, because of the contractual agreement.
The plan was to move the bulk of Buffalo's production to Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico, in a maquiladora arrangement in which most of the unskilled work, including assembly, would be done in Mexico and the more skilled work would be done in Texas. The move would mean the loss of 1,300 jobs in Buffalo. Of the remaining 1,100 jobs, approximately 500 would be held by salaried employees, outside the bargaining unit. In a city already hard-hit by economic depression, this announcement foretold another in a long line of job losses in manufacturing.
For these reasons, and with a healthy skepticism of management's calculations, the CSTs spent some time challenging the target. Castings, which spent a long time disputing these figures, lost valuable time from its pursuit of cost savings. Teams did discover costs to be missing or incorrect in some of the benchmarks, which only confirmed doubts about the accuracy of the targets. A second problem with the benchmarks occurred because they were based in part on foreign exchange rates, which were fluctuating daily.