Vol.32-No.10 October 1,1993
When asked about parent companies' adjusted orders which are said to result in the shortening of work hours at subcontracting companies, a mere 2.3 percent replied they experienced "practically no change in orders." Forty-three point eight percent said they had a "frequent change in orders" and 52 percent noted they had an "occasional change in orders."
Of those which experienced "frequent" or "occasional" change in orders from parent companies, the highest, or 44.7 percent, said they coped with the changed orders by "making employees work overtime and on holidays," followed by the 27.7 percent which carried a stock to cope adequately with the sudden change. Only 23.4 percent said they could respond properly to changes in orders "within a range of ordinary busisess activity."
Regarding ordering before a holiday and delivery after, 22.9 percent "often experienced such orders" and 37.5 percent did "sometimes," bringing the total of those which experienced the practice to over 60 percent. A mere 8.3 percent replied "never." Thus, the survey clearly showed that major firms forced small- and medium-sized subcontracting companies to work on holidays. However, few firms received orders after business hours and made delivies the following day. To be more specific, 4.2 percent often experienced the practice, and about 20.8 percent did so sometimes. On the other hand, 52.1 percent seldom had such orders and 22.9 percent did not experience in whatsoever. Thus, 70 percent of the surveyed firms hardly received orders after business hours and made a delivery the following day.
Concerning whether parent companies asked them to reduce costs during the past year, over a half, or 52.1 percent said "they were frequently asked to do so" and 43.8 percent answered "they were sometimes asked to." It is fair to say that receiving requests for cost reduction, has become almost an everyday affair.
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