Autowork (Suny Series in American Labor History)

Robert Asher, Ronald Edsforth


Autowork focuses on the character of automobile work in the modern factory and the relationships between autoworkers, their union, and management from 1913 to the present. Two-thirds of the essays are devoted to the post-World War II period, which historians have not examined as extensively as the early years of the automobile industry.

In these original essays, the experiences of assembly-line workers come alive as never before. Using transcripts of government hearings, minutes of negotiations, records of arbitration proceedings, and articles in union newspapers, the authors present autoworkers' and union officials' descriptions of working conditions and the effect these conditions had on their health and home life. The essays analyze the dynamics of collective bargaining on important shop-floor issues such as safety, work pace, overtime, job assignments, and managerial discipline. Autowork demonstrates that many historians have underestimated the militancy and effectiveness of the United AutomobileWorkers of America.

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