Business: The Grueling Life on the Line

FOR eight hours every day, says Henry Belcher, a 40-year-old welder, "I am as much a machine as a punch press or a drill motor is." With that comment, he sums up a crucial reason for the autoworker militancy that led to the strike against General Motors. Most of the men on the assembly line hate their jobs—with a bitterness that can hardly be understood by anybody who performs interesting tasks in comfortable surroundings. At best, reports TIME'S Correspondent David DeVoss, the auto worker's routine is a daily voyage from tedium to apathy,...

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