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The automatic car come later. Cutting clerical work by demanding skilled technicians. A conflict between workers and machine between worker and employer between worker and worker. And yet. Cooperation Conflict and Cooperation in the challenge of work. Changes in people in work. Than on the farm. Now in the factory at the desk and behind the counter people planning where before they manipulated changes in employment trends the working day shrinks. But output increases greater skill on the job. Automation changes the nature of work management and labor conflict. And then cooperate this document of major technological and social changes of work was produced and recorded by the University of Southern California. Under a grant from
the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Competition in antagonism. When more people move to town in the early years of the century. And forced intense competition close relationships of people at work in cities bred competition. Keen and intense competition for jobs. A fight for work. So different from the rural tunes of the earlier day. What prompts you to change steel this fam. I think one. Gets tired sometimes of. Activity. Growing industry and.
Well it isn't that we can't make use of your talents or simply that we want to be sure that this is the field here there's a chance of me getting into. What. One of the requirements might. Have. Well actually we need to be able to get along with people. Because it is an operation that's relationship very much. We deal with people almost exclusively. In the situations in which people find themselves. So we have to be able to. Talk to people. Get from them the things we want to get as far as the nation is concerned and do whatever we can to correct situations that. Have to be corrected. As far as you're concerned I would recommend. Strongly that we consider. The possibility of putting you into. The. Field of interviewing to start with anyway because. There is. Very. Tense itself. In such a way that you can make use of your
engineering back immediately and you can also become familiar with procedures and policies which we have here in this field. And the work would be more valuable in that particular operation then you would know the rest of it. And yet the entrance of those in service is upon the face of American work yielded a certain co-operation among people doing their jobs. Service stations and auto repair department stores and supermarkets government. The professions. Nurses must work together for the benefit of the patient. The public health office of the local county must take its place with other health services when treating the patient protection of the public health is the responsibility of the private practice medical or medical profession in the institutions such as the hospitals and the health department and a private citizen.
So everyone has specified responsibilities to each according to his knowledge and skill and without the physician in private practice. Our work would be almost meaningless because he's a man up front who. Assumes responsibility for the identification Harley's for the suspicion of an infectious disease and reports it and utilizes the facilities of the health department to identify a way that is easier to like excluded. As the case may be. Cooperation and competition. The conflicting drives of people at work competition intense competition as a part of the American character. But co-operation as a new phase of that character. But the complex conflict must not be made too simple. For the threads of the problem are many and oft times hidden.
One of the thread emerges from the early years of the century change and growth of the labor force giving more power to the intensity of competition present employment by half and growth becomes evident when we've never had so many people employed as we have at the present time. The labor force is larger it's way up in the over 60 million and very few people unemployed. I recall that during the Depression and approximately that many people employed now it is very difficult to get people to do certain jobs such as for instance carpentry plumbing electrical work. Sometimes one has to wait for weeks before it is possible to get somebody to do the job for the person
I was talking with the builder just the night before last and he said I just cannot get workers to do the work. How has the role of the worker along those lines how is the role of the work changed now compared to say in the early years of the century. Well the role of the workers changed in many many ways but I think the most significant change that has occurred is the result of our technological developments. They operate machines especially in our factories automation has progressed at such a rapid pace that in our factories and even in business offices people have to handle machines. And these are perception machines these machines have affected the personal problems of these workers. Some are thrown out of work of course because they cannot
operate the machines. But many others are employed to operate machines and make the machines so we have more employment but it requires more training more technical training to do the work but the threat of co-operation is present giving the American worker another chance for change. A worker no longer thinks wholly of the boss. Demon to be overcome and the boss probably no longer thinks of the work worker as him to be punished. I think we are in the midst of developing the theory that industrial relations our human relations. I don't suppose that we have reached what I would call a narrow band. In regard to that but it does seem to me that. Workers are a good deal freer to go to the
management with their particular problems and to get a better hearing. What are better seen. Reception site. A farmer too and a professional man. How are relationships different from the past. Now most of the farmers in Iowa belong to a Cooperative Association so call that no longer. Working out things alone. I rather imagine you know I'm not so sure about this that most farmers no longer feel as though their apartments and their particular places like media communication develop to a certain extent. Rather imagine we find very few old fashioned farmers today all
professional people in the city have first I think have become more professional which means that they think. Of their profession as being a very high type of occupation and their value is probably getting more increased prices tell me yeah. Wait. Where. One other thread contributing to the conflict a constant drinking of the working day since 1900 and the trend away from manual labor is here table and there's a rotary rotary work. OK it was good because I never did you wrote that. Days and days and months on cable that I think
I've got it right I might expect to pay for with your old contract. And. Start this. Process. Therefore I have any money I got. Pretty hard work. Well it's Mannion you got them to be just like you dressed in them days. I don't know. And you know what I work for 8 hours a day. We work 12 trout. Get out my best rate. Care. More time today. Off the job. The work is lighter. Mechanics hunch Prince readers machinists the work is lighter isn't it. Oh no I didn't know you know you're here you are eloquently. I mean they have less height. Oh wait no no you shall run
for you. You're going to you know right now heavy let you know you don't work nearly as long as many hours a day. Oh no they were closer in the night. Oh no you didn't really take and I worked my hours. Who are the players you are so there for you know when they go home. How about your work eight hours a day. They are in your name in work today we are left to my own. The rise of the educational level of workers and other thread contributing to the conflict between co-operation and competition automation communication between man and machine demands more skilled technicians and an understanding of co-operative work. Wherever automation. Is a slave to. The requirements for. Technical. Technically. Train employees is
greater. Thanks. They become technicians thankfully. For the. Operators. So you. Have to have a broader knowledge. A good many things on the road every week. Right now breathing. Machine. You have to know something about electronics. You have to know something about controls. And what. The controls. Mean Linley's. So. Something in there or something going wrong. You have not affected. So the president very much very skilled individuals do that sort of the job and automation. Does. In manual operations conflict in the minds of working people. Should I cooperate I must say I fight for my work. More people working. Working in cities. Working less time. Working with less physical labor working with more education
these hours as underlying factors are the major changes in 20th century American work. We outline. Changes changes of people at work. In 1900 people in the mines on the farms in one thousand fifty people in the factories at the desk behind the counter. Less workers needed to extract the raw materials from the land. The machine has replaced the man at the dairy farm before the milking machine but that is more milk or you know how many know the meal you know will say for about a third is not enough to get a shift in work as the use of land changed from farm to factory and home.
Since the nineteen twenties. And given a boost by the War of the 40s people more people are dealing in services. The auto garage offering repair. Parts and sales. The customer is always right. Impersonal ism in work fierceness must give way to an attitude of pleasing helpfulness. A man who sells the. Man who fills up the tank the man who greases it the man who repairs it. All know. The meaning of service. It's. Mechanized production and automated management. Once you fish NC and greater profit labor demand the guarantee of job security. But cooperation has been evident.
Management offers more skilled jobs. Workers are being retrained and upgraded the delicacy of skilled operations. Cooperation raising the educational level of people at work changes in the nature of working people. I think management has a responsibility of gradually applying automation. And not displacing the workers. To the point where. We would come. Into a situation of. Unemployment. Pretty broad spread and a great general. And I don't think it's going to happen that way. You personally feel that automation and then gradually the new operations in the business of the open as a result of it and workers will be able to be moved from one area or one into another job directly. And I think to that. List they'll be a lot of training necessary. Nothing that's really taken perhaps by taking the schools. High schools. Program on the. Basis of. A lot of.
Technical Training high school skills. You know. Universities. Well. But first Actually it should be taught in the high school. Because. There are too many. Thanks for your. List so we have to get them down nicely. In addition to the company training schools I'm quite sure it will enter into this program as well. And. Really since it will be probably a gradual transition. Technicians will be trained. Able to do the automation operations and then the work. Business and work gets created by the automation. Will absorb the excess workers displace player. Work in America has grown more mental in nature and less physical people dealing with problems planning. Sending directives giving or communicating information to nurses in a hospital transmitting orders
for surgery that must be will be here. To serve. Them. Right. You know. You're. Right. There. With. The cooperation of people at work the increasing mental strain as physical effort subsides. And yet the intense competition for jobs the pressing in of people and the tension of
work satisfying the customer the machine man working with machine and man working with man. These are the elements of people that work in America at mid-century. Flying. From a production changes. And education directions in which solutions to the conflict life. The nature of work under automation will not be dull. It will be exciting and creative. But changeovers must be carefully planned. Revaluation by our management aware of the social responsibility industrial relations our human relations. The worker. And management in an era. Of automation. The
reactions of. People. At work. I would say generally that the work would probably be more interesting. Because it's. More of a challenge. To be a technician than to be able to. Know what's wrong with the regime and fix it up. That is to. Just be in their. Formis parts let's say. Does the same test day in and day out he has them. Well isn't that. Funny. They should make the very best. And he has. An opportunity to use considerably more skill. First. Looking forward to the point of. Complete automation is. Quite a ways off. I think yes. I'm. Trying to think of. The train station. To automation. As fragile. And. First. Thing is that. It will not affect the
individuals who are presently working. So long as a company. Placing automation faked. As a medical training program. Usually we find that by this means we find you often more jobs than before. It. May affect some areas but there are other areas open up. Causing. Nations. Which provide work for. Work. Displaced by. Working people not at work. I must turn to education for training in the use of their spare time training for consumer ship a new idea. Coexisting with training for work leisure time must be spent constructively. Recreation not mere amusement. Automation has done this to people at work. The preparation for leisure. Yes we emphasize that. Preparation for leisure.
The wife and I have written a book on leisure and recreation and we have a 10 point program which we feel is important things that people can do to improve their uses of leisure. It is difficult to pinpoint just how people misuse their leisure. We do not have adequate standards to measure misuses of leisure. But if the uses of leisure I think the personality of the individual or his social relationships adversely then I would say that leads you. To the uses of leisure then might be a serious problem for the individual and for the community around her. Imagine we do a pretty good training program. Part of the year was leisure time.
I say this because of so much. Leisure time is now available. And people are not spending that leisure time to the best of their advantage. I think that most of the servers on the scene will all say that people are spending too much time very far of their television sat which means probably sheer amusement and not recreation. No need for training. Training at work and training at play. But who should bear the responsibility for this training. I think that we need to have this program extended from elementary school through the junior high through the senior high and even into colleges and
universities. Communications were another direction for improvement. Cooperation among working people depends upon efficient communication communication two way process involving a receiver as well as a sender automatic trends demand explanations. The problem of the transition period for workers can be retrained. Management. That does not plan. Answers can be found in diversification and advertising. Increasing product output in related materials so that slack in one line can be stabilized by increase in another. Greater advertising in periods of low consumption. To move goods stimulating and developing new uses products. These actions
will balance the scales of the automatic transition period. In the light of present trends the future can be seen in terms of the automatic machine increasing specialization of functions increasing emphasis on planning and control creativity in work. The release of production line monotony more education more skilled labor more technicians. There are plenty of opportunities for advancement as we say which direction does it go from here. Well from that point it goes into. Any number of their different directions it could go into the field of labor relations. Or in the field within ministration or in the field of. Recreation welfare. What
frightens liberation. Why should. You. Feel it. Is. Beyond what I already have here. There are several universities in Europe. Perhaps I should. Reach for something. Well first if you haven't already covered some of these fields. It would be in the bandages to take a course in Personnel Management. Or personnel for self. And there are many good courses offered here in these numbers to. Mention. Hello we do ourselves. Present a force. Test so. What is. Its coverage service price. Rarely in. The field of interviewing techniques techniques of any of you. And although we don't start the course the minute the man is hurt. We wait until we have three or four men. That have. Forced. The training. But at one time. He was he was about three months. And we feel that by the end of this very day three months the man is pretty well about. The. Ideas that. We. Like. But.
We need. Electronic card collectors. Representing the advancement of automation working people feeling the impact in their jobs and in their personal and social life. Work in 20th century America changes from farm to factory to front desk working hours shrink from fifteen to thirty six per week 50 years output for man hours increases reflecting mechanization and efficiency of production. A competition of people if work continues. But change with the demand for cooperation. Control of the processes of automation so that working people may work. We know. How to Mattick hard. Cutting clerical work. By demanding skilled technicians conflict between workers and machines between workers and employers between workers and workers. And yet cooperation. Conflict and Cooperation in the challenge also works.
Fifty years of growth
The challenge of work
Producing Organization
University of Southern California
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Working people in the midst of industrial and social change; competition and cooperation combine on the farm, in the factory, at the desk, and behind the counter.
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A series of documentaries on industrial change in the U.S.
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Social Issues
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Director: Deroux, Edward
Narrator: Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997
Producer: Cooney, Stuart
Producing Organization: University of Southern California
Writer: Price, Donald
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-54-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:05
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Chicago: “Fifty years of growth; The challenge of work,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “Fifty years of growth; The challenge of work.” 1957-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Fifty years of growth; The challenge of work. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from