Hurling defiance to the world�seeing them opposed by giant China and menaced by the U.S.S.R. and its Eastern-bloc satellites; fearful and suspicious of neighboring Yugoslavia and Greece and the West�Lilliputian Albania will go it alone. How can she do it? By mobilizing rc helicopter production, Plants often work three shifts to use machinery 24 hours a day. I saw tractors work fields by headlight, then go by truck at night to another farm complex for the morning plowing. As part of this “technical revolution,” some engineers, technicians, and workers add several hours to their daily eight, lengthening their 48-hour, six-day workweek. “Do you get extra pay for overtime?” The question was put to a worker in a Tirana factory making spare truck and tractor parts. “No, we don’t ask for it. We volunteer because we believe this work is the way to break the blockade. This revolutionary spirit will lead us to victory.” Mark Tome retired at 60 three years ago. But now he is back at the same factory. “We are united in this goal, to contribute to making our economy self-dependent. I am still strong. I cannot sit idle while the whole nation struggles.” Did he receive pay? “I’m already getting my pension.” Civil servants, students, even party officials and diplomats put in at least one month’s labor a year in factory or on farm. Workers’ brigades compete in topping production quotas. This brings rewards in medals, citations, and extra days of vacation at a resort. Bulletin boards are full of “grumble sheets,” intended to improve morale and production through “self-criticism.” At the Enver Hoxha factory in Tirana, my colleague Sami Cohen was proudly shown the first Albanian-made tractor. When the Chinese cut off aid, they left this factory, a hydroelectric dam, mines, and other major projects unfinished. “The Chinese technicians even took all the plans,” the manager said angrily. “Then they tried to sabotage the factory by refusing to deliver needed machinery. But we completed the plant and got the machines and parts from other countries. Not as foreign aid or on credit. We had enough of such help from the Russians and Chinese. If we need something, we buy it from any country�in cash. Or we trade for it. That way we maintain our independence.” In fact, the Albanian constitution of 1976 forbids credit deals, prohibiting bank loans from East or West. Few other countries could have chosen this hard way to development. But Albania is ruled by an iron hand. And Albanians are used to privation. Hardship of earthquake and flood followed the horrors of war. When the Russians pulled out, severe drought raised the specter of starvation; many commodities were restricted. Today, though Albania is far from prosperous, she has no serious shortages and no rationing. People are plainly dressed, but none are in rags. Families live in small flats or cottages, poorly furnished by Western standards. But compared with yesterday’s misery, Albanians don’t doubt that they do better today. And they take pride in their will to survive on their own terms: “We prefer to feed on grass if need be. We will never stretch our hand to the imperialists.” “We experienced difficult days,” 71-yearold Kristo Teodori told Sami Kohen, on a visit to a cooperative at Finiq in southern Albania. “I spent my youth in misery, right on this plain. I worked hard for the landowner, yet could scarcely make a living. Today, thanks to Enver Hoxha, we live well.”
Everybody talks about quality, Ford people make it happen. Take our attention to craftsmanship, for example. There are still some things that the human hand can do better than a machine, like the final polishing of a die detail which can take from 40 to 120 work hours and is done so that the sheet metal in doors and body panels is not blemished during the stamping process. This dedication to quality at Ford Motor Company is paying off. Latest results show a 48% average improvement in quality over 1980 models as reported by new car owners. Visit a Ford or Lincoln-Mercury dealer and take a close look at what total employee, management, union and supplier involvement can achieve.