Working for the Japanese

What is it like to work in a U.S. factory that has been taken over by the Japanese? It has been more than four years since the Firestone Tire & Rubber plant in LaVergne, Tenn., was bought outright for $52 million by Bridgestone of Tokyo, Japan's No. 1 tiremaker. Some obvious things have not changed in that time: workers still labor over tire presses, for example, and steel- belted radials still roll off the line. But in any number of subtle and not so subtle ways, the influence of the new owners can be felt throughout the factory and indeed throughout...

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