From International Socialist Review, Vol.23 No.1, Winter 1962, p.18.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
The task of maintaining full employment will require even greater effort in the future because of two important factors. During the decade of the 1960s. the labor force will be increased by 13½ million workers. In addition, the acceleration of technological progress will displace 28 million workers. These two factors will require in excess of 40 million new jobs over the next 10 years. The approximately 40 million new jobs do not include the additional jobs required to deal with the current unemployment problem ...
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In the period from 1953 through 1960, if we had had full employment and full production and a 5 percent rate of economic growth, the American people and the American economy could have created the additional wealth with which they could have built 6 million $12,000 homes to help wipe out the slums and provide better housing in wholesome neighborhoods. In addition, they could have built fully equipped new hospitals with 900,000 beds. In addition, they could have built 600,000 new classrooms to help meet the tragic deficit on the educational front which is denying millions of our children the opportunity for maximum growth and development ..
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In the period from 1947 through 1960, the production of motor vehicles increased from 4.8 million in 1947 to 7.9 million in 1960. While the production of motor vehicles increased 64.7 percent, the number of production workers decreased by 37,000. The increase in production will come at a faster rate in the period ahead as the introduction of automation is accelerated ...
Auto workers have accepted automation, but they ask a question and they demand an answer: Why is it, as automation makes an hour of human labor more productive, that this greater economic wealth creates greater insecurity, and workers face lay-offs more frequently and for more extended periods? There is something basically wrong when the creation of greater wealth results in greater economic inscurity ...
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Mr. Frederick Donner, Chairman of the Board of the General Motors Corporation, received in salary and bonuses an amount of $2,922,000 for the period from 1956 through 1960. By contrast, the wages of an average GM hourly worker totalled $28,329, assuming that he worked 52 weeks each of these years, which the average GM worker did not. Mr. Donner received in this period more than 100 times the compensation of a GM worker.
From: UAW 1961 Auto Negotiations and the Needs of the US Economy, UAW, August, 1961
Last updated on 21 May 2009