We Sell Our Time No More: Workers' Struggles Against Lean Production in the British Car Industry

We Sell Our Time No More: Workers' Struggles Against Lean Production in the British Car Industry


By (author) Paul Stewart, By (author) Ken Murphy, By (author) Andy Danford, By (author) Tony Richardson, By (author) Mike Richardson, By (author) Vicki Wass


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  • Publisher: PLUTO PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 212mm x 18mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0745328679
  • ISBN 13: 9780745328676
  • Sales rank: 1,189,985

Product description

This is the story of struggles against management regimes in the car industry in Britain from the period after the Second World War until the contemporary regime of lean production. Told from the viewpoint of the workers, the book chronicles how workers responded to a variety of management and union strategies, from piece rate working, through measured day work, and eventually to lean production beginning in the late 1980s. The book focuses on two companies, Vauxhall-GM and Rover/BMW, and how they developed their approaches to managing labour relations. Worker responses to these are intimately tied to changing patterns of exploitation in the industry. The book highlights the relative success of various forms of struggle to establish safer and more humane working environments. The contributors bring together original research gathered over two decades, plus exclusive surveys of workers in four automotive final assembly plants over a ten year period.

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Author information

Paul Stewart is Professor of the Sociology of Work and Employment at Strathclyde University. He has been researching and writing on the automotive industry for many years and was joint convenor of the Automotive Workers Research Network. Ken Murphy has worked for General Motors for over twenty years and was joint convenor of the Automotive Workers' Research Network.

Table of contents

Foreword 1 Understanding the Lean Automobile Industry 2 The Pre-history of Lean Production: Employee Relations in the British Automobile Industry since the Second World War 3 From 'Embrace and Change' to 'Engage and Change': Trade union renewal and new management strategies 4 Striking Smarter and Harder: the new industrial relations of lean production? The 1995-96 Vauxhall Dispute 5 Abridged version of a roundtable discussion on lean production (The 'Sandcastle' Liverpool TGWU office) 6 Rover-BMW: From Rover Tomorrow to the Longbridge closure and the bitter fruits of Lean Production 7 Lean Production: From 'Engage and Change' to Endless Change Conclusion Appendices - workplace surveys References Index