When I was in Japan I was given the opportunity to tour one of my suppliers factories. Being interested in not only the factory but how the Japanese worked Kiazan and other philosophies I jumped at the opportunity. This I wanted to see.
We were treated royally as we toured the facilities. Each and every inch was spotless, which was very impressive for a factory boasting about 15,000 employees, but it wasn't anything I hadn't seen before.
On one of the lines I noticed the workers were wearing black arm bands and after touring a little farther and noticing many more with the same black arm band I asked what they were for.
The guide responded that the workers were on strike.
My jaw hit the ground.
Here were a group of people that were still working hard, earning their pay cheques and churning out the product but with a small black arm band were also saying we are not being treated fairly. They were also saying lets negotiate and talk this over.
Upon returning I called to see the outcome of the strike and it turned out that the workers came to agreement with management and the show continued onwards. Absolutely amazing.
What isn't amazing is the fact that we cannot compete with our Asian counterparts. Communication can yield results. Our arrogance to think we are the best will never yield anything but negative results.