Copied from a UAW worker.
What is an Auto Assembly Line Worker: We walk in before the sun comes up and get to our station, set up and wait for the buzzer to start our day. The line starts and we move sideways, continuously as we work, we can't stand still because the line will move away from us. The floor is concrete, and if we are lucky we'll have a decent mat beneath our feet... If not, we better have on good shoes, and then it really doesn't matter... Our feet are going to hurt. We will be on our feet all day, 8 hrs, 9 hrs, 10 hrs, 11hrs...We never really know. We will be tired, we will walk, in total, about 10 miles a day. The guns are torqued, so we will have to tighten our hands and wrists. They will hurt, and this pain doesn't go away, it gets worse. The line doesn't stop, so if we need a bathroom break... We will wait for someone to relieve us, if someone is available. If not... We can't go. We wait for break and rush, and hope we get there before everyone else. Eventually we learn to time our job and get good at it. We can have a conversation with the operator next to us, but in intervals because the plant floor is so loud, we can't hear. There are bells, and buzzers, and the clink of the chain and the voices of hundreds of people... Yes, it's loud. The work itself can be hard. We will build muscles and calluses. The line runs as fast as they feel we can work without stopping the line. We will sweat! In the summer, the further we are away from the front offices, the hotter we will be. We have fans, but apparently we can't afford one at each station... So we better hope we aren't near someone who doesn't want the fan on. The job gives your mind time to think. We get to the point where the tasks we perform are committed to memory, so our mind is completely free for hours at a time. We can't allow ourselves to be distracted, so really all we have are our thoughts. Music is a must. If we are allowed earbuds, we can block out the noise and get into a rhythm and it's good. The long days don't seem so long and we build a quality vehicle. Finally, management will call line time, and we will know what time we are allowed to go home. Overtime is mandatory and we are tired, but we have to get that magic number... we will work 8,9,10, 11 hrs and we will work on Saturdays too.... Whatever it takes. Our job is to build vehicles... We don't stop the line, we don't complain, because no one cares. There's a build number and we will meet it. If we forget, our boss will remind us. And typically, not in a nice way. The buzzer goes off and it's time to go home. Our bodies are sore and we are so tired, sometimes we don't even eat when we get home. We shower, and fall asleep. Our family doesn't understand why we can't spend time with them, our houses look like a tornado went through them and laundry is never done. We go to bed as early as possible, so that tomorrow we can get up and do it all again. So yes, WE deserve to get paid well. WE deserve a share of the profits we have helped bring in, WE deserve excellent heath care, because the job rips our body apart. And WE are people, who deserve to be treated with respect! We are assembly line workers, and WE keep the CEO of GM living the life she's become accustom to. Just be fair... That's all we want.