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Social Issues of Work in Ben Hamper’s Book Riverhead
Ben Hampers book Rivethead; Tales From The Assembly
Line is a gritty in your face account of a factory workers
struggles against his factory, his co-workers, and the time
clock. Hamper makes no apologies for any of his actions,
many of which were unorthodox or illegal. Instead he
justifies them in a way that makes the factory workers
strife apparent to those who have never set foot on an
assembly line and wouldn’t have the vaguest idea how much
blood, sweat and tears go into the products we take for
granted everyday.
Rivethead is an account of the entire life of Author
Ben Hamper, from his long family lineage of “shoprats” and
his catholic school upbringing to his numerous different
positions on the General Motors assembly line and his
equally numerous lay-offs from the GM Truck & Bus Division.
Unfortunately the many years of back breaking labor combined
with Hampers own personal demons led him to check into an
outpatient mental facility (at the time…
… middle of paper …
…ems of the assembly line. Instead of
each worker doing the same thing all day long, Saturn
created a system where lineworkers are organized into
workgroups which combine to complete a major, visible
portion of the car. Saturn also informs the lineworkers
specifically who they are making each individual car for and
where it will be sent whenever possible. These small changes
along with many other recent advances have proven to make a
tremendous difference in worker satisfaction and loyalty and
continue to help humanize an inhuman job.