After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was company-based, with separate unions in each auto company. Most company unions played no independent role in bargaining shop-floor issues or pressing autoworkers' grievances. In a 1981 survey, for example, fewer than 1 percent of workers said they sought union assistance for work-related problems, while 43 percent said they turned to management instead. There was little to distinguish the two in any case: most union officers were foremen or middle-level managers, and the union's role was primarily one of passive support for company goals. Conflict occasionally disrupted this cooperative relationship--one company union's opposition to the productivity campaigns of the early 1980s has been cited as such a case. In 1986, however, a caucus led by the Foreman's Association forced the union's leadership out of office and returned the union's policy to one of passive cooperation. In the United States, the potential for such company unionism grew after 1979, but it had difficulty taking hold in the auto industry, where a single union represented workers from all companies, particularly since federal law prohibited foremen from joining or leading industrial unions.

The Japanese model was often invoked as one in which authority decentralized to the shop floor empowered production workers to make key decisions. What these claims failed to recognize was that the actual delegation of authority was to the foreman, not the workers. The foreman exercised discretion over job assignments, training, transfers, and promotions; worker initiative was limited to suggestions that fine-tuned a management-controlled production process. Rather than being proactive, Japanese workers were forced to be reactive, the range of their responsibilities being far wider than their span of control. For example, the founder of one production system, Taichi Ohno, routinely gave department managers only 90 percent of the resources needed for production. As soon as workers could meet production goals without working overtime, 10 percent of remaining resources would be removed. Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement, critics described it as "management by stress."

The passage is primarily concerned with

contrasting the role of unions in the Japanese auto industry with the role of unions in the United States auto industry after the Second World War

describing unionism and the situation of workers in the Japanese auto industry after the Second World War

providing examples of grievances of Japanese auto workers against the auto industry after the Second World War

correcting a misconception about the role of the foreman in the Japanese auto industry's union system after the Second World War

reasserting the traditional view of the company's role in Japanese auto workers' unions after the Second World War






主旨(Main idea)




B选项:Correct. 描述二战后日本自动工业工会和工人的情况。就像“考点”中提到的,第一段说的是工会的情况,第二段说的是工人的情况。

C选项:提供二战后日本工人对自动工业不满的例子。文章中只要在“Most company unions played no independent role in bargaining shop-floor issues or pressing autoworkers' grievances.”提到了“不满”这个词,只是一个概念的陈述,作者没有提到任何不满的例子。

纠正一个关于二战后日本自动工业工会系统中领班的地位的误解。作者要解释的误解是对“Japanese model”的误解,而不是对工会中领班地位的误解。提到领班地位的是1986年前的日本工会。而且只是文章的一部分内容,不是主旨大意。

纠正一个关于二战后日本自动工业工会系统中领班的地位的误解。作者要解释的误解是对“Japanese model”的误解,而不是对工会中领班地位的误解。提到领班地位的是1986年前的日本工会。而且只是文章的一部分内容,不是主旨大意。


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