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Helpful Reading Comprehension Passages With Questions and Answers. Part 28

Navigating Language Proficiency: A Comprehensive Guide to Reading Comprehension Mastery

Embarking on the journey of language mastery involves a nuanced understanding of reading comprehension — a skill amalgamating the twin pillars of reading and comprehension. This article delves into the essential components that constitute an effective approach to this skill, utilizing a diverse array of resources, including comprehension passages and strategic reading comprehension exercises.

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In summary, harnessing the wealth of resources encapsulated in reading comprehension passages across varying difficulty levels acts as a compass in the pursuit of language mastery. Empowering learners to traverse these passages effortlessly not only enriches their comprehension skills but also propels them towards academic excellence.

This article underscores the significance of reading comprehension while weaving in the highlighted keywords, accentuating their role in the holistic journey of language proficiency.

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PARAGRAPH

This week, General Motors announced a three-year plan to lower its costs.  The plan calls for G.M. to reduce its number of workers in North America by thirty thousand.  That is a cut of seventeen percent.  The company says it will close all or part of twelve factories in the United States and Canada.
Its chief executive officer, Rick Wagoner, says the cuts are necessary for the company to compete.  General Motors has lost more than four thousand million dollars this year.  And that is not its only problem.  In October its largest supplier, Delphi, sought protection in bankruptcy court after heavy losses.
General Motors is the largest automobile maker in the world.  But the company has struggled against foreign competitors, especially the Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda.  Forty years ago, General Motors controlled half the market in the United States.  Now it controls one-fourth of it.
G.M. will reduce production to better meet demand.  It plans to produce just over four million cars and trucks a year in North America by the end of two thousand eight.  That is thirty percent fewer than it built in two thousand two.
Industry experts blame the situation in part on poor decisions and vehicle designs that have not been very creative.  Other reasons, they say, include costly health care and retirement payments.
The new cuts, and measures announced earlier, are expected to lower costs by about seven thousand million dollars next year.
The number of jobs to be lost, thirty thousand, is five thousand higher than Mr. Wagoner had announced earlier this year.  G.M. officials say they want to reduce employee numbers mainly through retirements.
Still, the United Auto Workers union calls the cuts unfair.  The labor union says it will do everything in its power to enforce job security programs.
Union officials reject the idea that the problems at General Motors are because of high labor costs.  Yet, they say, workers and their communities will be the ones who suffer because of the actions announced this week.
The current labor agreement requires General Motors to continue to pay workers even when factories close.  And the company cannot permanently close factories without union approval.  So the factories cannot officially close until the two sides reach an agreement in the next contract talks.  Those will take place in two thousand seven.
Some industry experts say the union might not have much choice but to accept the job cuts and factory closings.  They say the union has to be careful not to go too far.  Too much pressure could send the company into bankruptcy court to seek protection from its creditors.  Then all agreements with the union would have to be renegotiated.

QUESTIONS

  1. Which of the following factors are cited as reasons for General Motors’ struggles against foreign competitors?

    a) Excessive vehicle designs and creative strategies
    b) Low-cost health care and retirement payments
    c) Market control of one-fourth in the United States
    d) Competition from Toyota and Honda

  2. What are the anticipated effects of General Motors’ announced measures?

    a) Increase in employee numbers
    b) A decrease of $7 billion in costs next year
    c) A rise in production by 30% by the end of 2008
    d) Improved demand for vehicles

  3. Which measures are stated in the General Motors’ three-year plan to reduce costs?

    a) Increase the number of workers in North America
    b) Cut costs by closing all foreign factories
    c) Reduce the number of factories in the United States and Canada
    d) Expand vehicle production in North America

  4. What do industry experts attribute to General Motors’ challenges?

    a) Costly health care and retirement payments
    b) Highly creative vehicle designs
    c) Increased control of the market
    d) Decreased competition from Toyota and Honda

  5. According to the information provided, what are the consequences of the labor agreement between General Motors and the union?

    a) Union approval is required to permanently close factories
    b) The ability to renegotiate labor agreements anytime
    c) No need for union approval to close factories
    d) Workers are not paid when factories close

  6. Which elements contribute to General Motors’ financial struggles?

    a) Industry dominance and creative strategies
    b) Union agreements and increased worker numbers
    c) Costly health care, vehicle designs, and retirement payments
    d) Low competition from Toyota and Honda

  7. What factors do experts consider in the United Auto Workers union’s response to the announced job cuts?

    a) Union’s limited ability to negotiate
    b) Pressure leading to bankruptcy court
    c) Lack of concern for worker communities
    d) Worker protection programs

  8. What is cited as a risk factor for the United Auto Workers union if it exerts too much pressure?

    a) Company’s increased financial stability
    b) Renegotiation of labor agreements
    c) Increased worker benefits
    d) Bankruptcy court proceedings

  9. Which elements are mentioned as components of General Motors’ plan to reduce production?

    a) Increased vehicle creativity and market control
    b) Plans to close factories in Europe
    c) Producing over 4 million vehicles a year by 2008
    d) Expanding production as per 2002 numbers

  10. What is highlighted as a potential result of General Motors’ reduction in worker numbers?

    a) Union’s increased bargaining power
    b) Improved worker communities
    c) Company’s protection from creditors
    d) Affecting workers and their communities

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ANSWERS

  1. d) Competition from Toyota and Honda
  2. b) A decrease of $7 billion in costs next year
  3. c) Reduce the number of factories in the United States and Canada
  4. a) Costly health care and retirement payments
  5. a) Union approval is required to permanently close factories
  6. c) Costly health care, vehicle designs, and retirement payments
  7. b) Pressure leading to bankruptcy court
  8. d) Bankruptcy court proceedings
  9. c) Producing over 4 million vehicles a year by 2008
  10. d) Affecting workers and their communities

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