PAUSE and effect


When just-in-time suppliers go on strike, assembly plants at risk

Japanese-style lean manufacturing may prove cost effective, but a labor strike at one of General Motors Corp.’s key suppliers illustrates how the system can break down.

More than a dozen GM plants have been idled or gone to limited production because of the strike that began Feb. 26 at American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. When American Axle, which produces axles and other parts for GM trucks and SUVs, stopped shipping parts, it disrupted GM’s supply chain.


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