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<v TV Host>This program is made possible by grants from the Pennsylvania Public Television Network, <v TV Host>the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and the Philadelphia Foundation, <v TV Host>United Methodist Urban Ministries, American Baptist National Ministries, and the <v TV Host>Presbyterian Church USA. <v Host>This is the Yale forklift plant in Philadelphia. <v Host>Last year, the Eaton Corporation, which owns Yale, decided to close this plant. <v Host>The corporation blamed foreign competition for the shutdown. <v Host>Eaton's decision caused 420 men and women their jobs. <v Bill Reis>I can remember riding down the boulevard, going home, and I have a couple of kids. <v Bill Reis>I have responsibilities. I had bills to pay and ridin' down the boulevard and thinking <v Bill Reis>just for a split second, you know, what am I gonna do with myself? <v Jack Thomas>16 years and I have nothing to show for 16 years <v Jack Thomas>anywhere. No pensions, no seniority, no vacation time. <v Tom Barrett>I think about a Japanese someplace or a Mexican somewhere doing the actual
<v Tom Barrett>job that I did. Somehow, somewhere, someplace or somebody doing my job. <v Tom Barrett>But he's not an American. It's no longer my job <v Tom Barrett>anymore. It's gone. I was working at- in the plant and a man named <v Tom Barrett>Charlie Miller. <v Tom Barrett>He said to me, he said- we were talking about the closing of the plant and I was <v Tom Barrett>complaining about the closing of the plant. <v Tom Barrett>And he said to me, "Tom," he said, "Don't you realize we're the last of the buffalo?" <v Tom Barrett>And I said, "What the hell you mean, Charlie? <v Tom Barrett>We're the last of the buffalo?" And he said, "Well, our type of work is leaving <v Tom Barrett>the country." And he said, "We're just like the buffalo." He said, "We're the last <v Tom Barrett>remaining few people who do this work with our hands and minds. <v Tom Barrett>It's heavy work." And he said there's not going to be no more. <v Host>The Eaton Corporation, an international conglomerate, is headquartered in Cleveland.
<v Host>When Eaton closed its forklift operations in the United States, it did what thousands <v Host>of American companies have done in the past decade. <v Host>The Eaton story is an example of what happens when a factory closes. <v Host>It reveals the personal costs American blue-collar workers are now paying because <v Host>of such shutdowns. And it explains why millions of these workers will never get <v Host>their jobs back. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>We're losing jobs that will never come back in the basic industries such as steel and <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>auto and petrochemicals and those permanently displaced workers, perhaps <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>2 million of 3 million or more are going to have to be retrained <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>or are going to have to find another way of making a living because those jobs are never <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>coming back. <v Otis Port>We've talked with a lot of people and they've pulled a lot of numbers out of the air. <v Otis Port>And I'm sure that most of them are just guesstimates, but I would be surprised if <v Otis Port>anywhere near half of the people who are unemployed now get their jobs back. <v Otis Port>American businesses learned- is learning rapidly how <v Otis Port>to increase productivity and- and do more with less.
<v Otis Port>That's again, that's the only way we're gonna survive against products that are built <v Otis Port>in low wage rate countries. <v Host>Today, 22 percent of the labor force is engaged in manufacturing. <v Host>But that labor force is shrinking rapidly. <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>The projections for the year 20, let's say the year 2000 or 2005, are they at <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>only about 5 percent of the American labor force will be engaged in manufacturing <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>activity. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>What's happening today is different from what's happened in the past. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>For example, if you look at the movement out of agriculture, <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>out of farming, into manufacturing, that was a tremendous change <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>in our society. We had 38 percent of the labor force in agriculture in <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>1900. By 1980, only 3.8 percent, only one-tenth as many workers <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>were in the farming as 80 years before. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>But note it took 4 or 5, perhaps 6 generations <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>to move out of agriculture into the new manufacturing base. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>What we're seeing today is a transformation every bit as-
<v Dr. Barry Bluestone>as dramatic as the movement out of agriculture into manufacturing, but it's <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>occurring in 10 years. <v Host>The Yale forklift was once a symbol of American quality. <v Host>Many Yale lift trucks outlasted the companies that bought them. <v Host>But today, the American built Yale truck is a relic. <v Host>Americans no longer build the truck. <v Host>Japanese and Mexican workers do. <v Host>Eaton Corporation officials decided that it was not to their benefit to talk to us about <v Host>why they closed their American forklift operations. <v Host>So we went to one of Eaton's competitors for an explanation. <v Robert Cornelius>The market has dropped considerably. <v Robert Cornelius>The last few years has been a disaster. <v Host>Robert Cornelius sells American built Baker lift trucks. <v Host>He told us that during their peak years, Baker, Yale, and their American competitors <v Host>sold over 80000 lift trucks in the United States annually. <v Host>Now, he says, only about 55000 trucks are sold in the United States <v Host>each year, and 15000 of them have been made in Japan.
<v Host>Mr. Kornelius recently lost a customer to Japanese competition. <v Robert Cornelius>The customer did not know it was made in Japan, because afterwards, <v Robert Cornelius>when he received the truck and it said made in Japan, <v Robert Cornelius>he felt bad. <v Host>The name of the Japanese built forklift that underbid Mr. Cornelius by a couple <v Host>of thousand dollars is Yale. <v Host>Has Yale become more of a competition to you since it moved to Japan? <v Robert Cornelius>Yale has given us fits, so to speak, with low prices. <v Host>Low priced foreign products have done more than give the American competition fits. <v Host>In the past year alone, they have been blamed for the loss of 78000 American <v Host>blue-collar jobs. Philadelphia's Eaton workers are counted among those <v Host>casualties. <v Danny Chmelko>They're multinational, so their allegiance lies to the buck and the shareholder. <v Danny Chmelko>If they can make money in the Antarctic and they can <v Danny Chmelko>get penguins to work for them and they can feed these penguins fish and keep them happy
<v Danny Chmelko>so that they can exist, that's what they'll do. <v Host>Most of Eaton's Philadelphia workers spent at least 20 years with the company. <v Host>Many of their fathers worked for Yale when it was operating in the Bridesburg section of <v Host>Philadelphia. Like Tony Galvin, they were raised within walking distance <v Host>of the old plant. <v Tony Galvin>My family lived in this neighborhood, I guess, all my life. <v Tony Galvin>My father worked here. I've had several uncles work here. <v Tony Galvin>I still have an uncle that lives down a street that's now still unemployed. <v Tony Galvin>I worked here for some 25, I guess, 25, 26 years. <v Tony Galvin>When a plant like this leaves a particular community, it destroys the community. <v Tony Galvin>I think they have- they have a responsibility as a community. <v Tony Galvin>You can see the deterioration in the neighborhood now. <v Tony Galvin>This is not the only plant. It's like the hornets coming in and just devastating <v Tony Galvin>everything in its path. If you were to travel up state road and see the number of plants <v Tony Galvin>that have closed, this is only 1 of many. <v Host>Eaton tried to cushion the shock for its Philadelphia employees. <v Host>It gave them a 1-year notice. <v Host>It agreed to generous severance pay.
<v Host>It set up an employer referral service. <v Host>But because millions of blue-collar workers are looking for jobs, Eaton's efforts <v Host>did not eliminate the substantial number of economic casualties caused by <v Host>its plant closing. <v Bill Reis>I get up five o'clock in the morning, start my fireplace <v Bill Reis>for heat. I make the kids lunches for school. <v Bill Reis>I make the breakfast and get them all up in <v Bill Reis>one and get them off to school. <v Bill Reis>And I do the housework, dust, clean and <v Bill Reis>then I get my wife up later on in the morning, get her off to work <v Bill Reis>and read the paper for jobs and go out for interviews and <v Bill Reis>look for work in the afternoon. <v Host>Bill Reis's day has changed dramatically in the past year. <v Host>When he was employed at Eaton, he spent his day working as a skilled metal grinder. <v Host>Now he is 1 of 3 million blue-collar workers who have lost their jobs.
<v Bill Reis>I'm 47 now and <v Bill Reis>it's pretty hard to go out and look for a job now. <v Bill Reis>You did one job for 17 years and then you gotta start all over again. <v Pat Reis>Did you girls mark up these sets? Anything missing on any of them? <v Host>While Bill Reis is unemployed, his wife Pat works as an attendant at <v Host>Lower Bucks County Hospital outside Philadelphia. <v Bill Reis>Yeah, she works at the hospital. <v Bill Reis>Lower Bucks. <v Bill Reis>And I'm the housemaid now. <v Pat Reis>I don't like the idea of him being laid off because <v Pat Reis>he doesn't- I mean, he feels bad that I have to come to work and he stays home. <v Host>Bill's daughter, Karen, is studying medical technology at Rutgers University. <v Host>She works as an attendant at Lower Bucks County Hospital on weekends to help pay <v Host>for her tuition. Donna, the Reises' younger daughter, is a senior <v Host>at Bishop Cornwell Catholic High School.
<v Host>Tuition there is 900 dollars. <v Donna Reis>I did want to go to college, but I know they would go out of their way for <v Donna Reis>me to go through college, but I wouldn't want them to do that, <v Donna Reis>you know? <v Host>The Reises live in a modest 1-story home in a blue collar neighborhood outside <v Host>Philadelphia. While Bill worked at Eaton, the family lived comfortably. <v Host>Now the family's comfort, its security, its way of life had been threatened by the <v Host>layoff. <v Bill Reis>We don't have car insurance. <v Bill Reis>That was due in January. <v Bill Reis>They wanted 500 dollars for that for a first down payment. <v Bill Reis>And I knew we didn't have the money to pay them what they wanted. <v Bill Reis>So I just went up there and told <v Bill Reis>the man here is 200 dollars. <v Bill Reis>You just have to take it. <v Bill Reis>That's the best I can do for right now. <v Bill Reis>He didn't like it too much. <v Bill Reis>He said you either have to sell your car or
<v Bill Reis>find some other means to get the money to pay the bill, <v Bill Reis>that just cut down. I'm a camper, and I like to go out even <v Bill Reis>if it's out in the boondocks. <v Bill Reis>A weekend out there away from everything, and <v Bill Reis>long as you got a good job and a decent pay, you know you can do <v Bill Reis>it, but without the job, you're- you're stuck, <v Bill Reis>you just can't do it. <v Host>Until the layoff, the Reises owned a camper. <v Host>But their daughters' tuition bills ended that. <v Bill Reis>I got 1 in high school. <v Bill Reis>And it's her last year and yeah this oldest one's in college. <v Bill Reis>In uh Rutgers and she travels every day <v Bill Reis>and she's got 2 years to go. <v Bill Reis>And the 900 dollars high school <v Bill Reis>tuition. <v Bill Reis>I paid that off with my severance money and
<v Bill Reis>I sold my Mineo, and I make college tuition with <v Bill Reis>that. <v Karen Reis>It was very strange around the house while they were trying to make the decision. <v Karen Reis>Everybody started getting on everybody's nerves and touchy. <v Karen Reis>But other than that, it was just something that we had to do. <v Karen Reis>My dad didn't really want to get rid of it, but he saw that he had <v Karen Reis>to. He had no other choice. It was either get rid of it or have him take it back <v Karen Reis>because it- it was just too expensive. <v Donna Reis>When trailer payments weren't paid, they would sit and they'd argue and fight <v Donna Reis>because my mom said we had to sell it and my dad didn't really want to get rid of it <v Donna Reis>because he worked hard to get it in. <v Donna Reis>They would sit and fight and argue until finally my dad realized <v Donna Reis>that it had to be sold. <v Pat Reis>He's like a bear now. You know, he used to be a pussy cat, I guess you would call it. <v Pat Reis>Uh my girls have seen the effects of it from him.
<v Pat Reis>Every little thing that happens, he uh he growls at <v Pat Reis>them. And I've seen it with myself. <v Pat Reis>I mean, even though I still love my husband, it's <v Pat Reis>just the idea that I feel the burden. <v Pat Reis>I mean, it's bad when you take home a paycheck today and tomorrow, you have nothing. <v Donna Reis>She cries at night sometimes knowing that some bills aren't paid. <v Donna Reis>You see a lot of tension between the 2 of them. <v Donna Reis>[background chatter] <v Host>On this day, Bill Reis is applying for extended unemployment benefits. <v Host>To remain eligible for unemployment compensation, he must continue to apply <v Host>for at least 4 jobs within a 3 day period each week. <v Bill Reis>I got about 13 dollars an hour at <v Bill Reis>Eaton. <v Bill Reis>And I'm willing to work for 8, 9, <v Bill Reis>9 dollars an hour, which is substantial, less money.
<v Bill Reis>But I know these places around here don't- don't <v Bill Reis>pay as much as they did. <v Bill Reis>And they'll come right out and tell you they don't pay that much. <v Bill Reis>And lot of places hire you for 5 dollars <v Bill Reis>an hour and 4.75. <v Bill Reis>And it don't even match what you bring home for unemployment. <v Speaker>[background chatter] <v Bill Reis>See what we can come across today. <v Donna Reis>?inaudible? <v Bill Reis>?inaudible? Machine shop supervisor, working <v Bill Reis>foreman. <v Bill Reis>We can't do that. <v Bill Reis>Nah. They want NC operators.
<v Donna Reis>What's that? <v Bill Reis>It's a miracle controlled machines, they're computerized. <v Bill Reis>We don't know how to do it. Here's an assembler's job, small company. <v Bill Reis>My God, minimum wage? <v Donna Reis>No benefit. <v Bill Reis>No benefit. <v Donna Reis>You've gotta be kidding. <v Bill Reis>Apply in person. <v Bill Reis>You know, we could try that place today. <v Bill Reis>1 to 3. Don't know, there's hardly anything in here today. <v Bill Reis>Just that 1 job. <v Donna Reis>Let's try it. <v Speaker>[background chatter] <v Bill Reis>After a while, it gets depressing. <v Bill Reis>Well, I got to look for jobs I'm not qualified to do. <v Bill Reis>They tell me I gotta look into something into a different category <v Bill Reis>of work than what I'm used to and what I've been doing. <v Bill Reis>And I applied for warehouse machine operator, <v Bill Reis>truck driver.
<v Bill Reis>And 9 out of 10 places don't even take an application. <v Bill Reis>Or if they do take your application, they don't even interview you. <v Receptionist>The only position that we have is for an assembler at minimum wage. <v Receptionist>Do you want us to hold your application? <v Bill Reis>?inaudible? <v Receptionist>At present. We're a new firm and we're just slowly <v Receptionist>building at this point, all we have is assembly work. <v Bill Reis>They don't want anybody on machines or anything like that? <v Receptionist>Not at this point, whereas I explained, we're brand new and <v Receptionist>our needs are very small at this time all we need is assemblies. <v Bill Reis>Okay, you can hold onto that. <v Receptionist>Someday, if we grow, maybe we'll be able to use your talents. <v Receptionist>Thank you for stopping in. <v Karen Reis>It makes me madder than hell. <v Karen Reis>But there's not too much I can do about it really.
<v Karen Reis>Gets me upset. He'll try. <v Karen Reis>My dad's stubborn. <v Karen Reis>He'll try. <v Bill Reis>I just like to live comfortable, and <v Bill Reis>make a good living. <v Bill Reis>I- I ain't, you know, I'm not gonna get rich. <v Bill Reis>But I just want a comfortable living and raise my kids <v Bill Reis>that's all. <v Host>Bill Reis's problems are small when compared to the tragedies that are all too common <v Host>for the unemployed. <v Host>Barbara Murphy has seen unemployment destroy families. <v Host>She is director of the Bucks County Catholic Social Services Office. <v Host>The office aides the community where the Reises live. <v Barbara Murphy>We see many, many problems because of unemployment. <v Barbara Murphy>We see families where alcoholism becomes <v Barbara Murphy>a concern. We see the compounding of
<v Barbara Murphy>the drug situation, both men, women and children seeking <v Barbara Murphy>whatever relief there would be in turning <v Barbara Murphy>to drugs. <v Barbara Murphy>We see a much higher incidence of spouse abuse, <v Barbara Murphy>child abuse. And I guess I would have to say almost the ultimate <v Barbara Murphy>where the the stress is such that with people seeing <v Barbara Murphy>not any light at the end of that tunnel turning to suicide. <v Barbara Murphy>And that's both husbands, wives and and even as we know, <v Barbara Murphy>increased numbers of children who suicide. <v Reverend David Gracie>It is a very devastating thing. <v Reverend David Gracie>It goes immediately to one's sense of worth. <v Reverend David Gracie>It goes immediately to one's sense of dignity as a human <v Reverend David Gracie>being who is a productive human being. <v Host>The Reverend David Gracie is an Episcopalian priest who took part in the march
<v Host>protesting the closing of the Eaton plant. <v Reverend David Gracie>I think that the basic issue is the issue that Pope John Paul <v Reverend David Gracie>put his finger on in his encyclical on human labor. <v Reverend David Gracie>And that is that the job exists for the sake of the worker. <v Reverend David Gracie>The worker does not exist for the sake of the job. <v Host>Dr. Harvey Brenner is an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. <v Host>His research has concluded that when the annual unemployment rate climbs 1 percent, <v Host>37000 additional deaths occur from cirrhosis, heart disease and <v Host>other stress related illnesses. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>We see that the suicide rate increases certain aspects <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>are very- great violence increase <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>immediately. The infant mortality rate tends to increase. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>There are sharp increases in pathological alcohol consumption, especially spirits. <v Host>The losses become more dramatic when the second shock of unemployment sinks in.
<v Host>The shock that comes when the unemployed person finds that his next job pays less <v Host>and has fewer benefits than his previous job. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>As long as they were in limbo, as long as they were between <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>jobs, between positions, it was possible to imagine that the <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>recession would go away. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>That is all of the bad things in terms of poor income <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>and lack of work and low self-esteem would ultimately go away. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>They don't go away for many people because what is left afterward <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>is an even lower position than they had to begin with. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>So they go through a second period of loss or if you like, a second period <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>of grief associated with loss. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>A second major loss in life. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>That loss from most of these people will be permanent. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>They will not regain their economic and social position for the remainder of their lives. <v Host>Jack Thomas, a former Philadelphia Eton worker, his wife, Lee, and their 2 <v Host>boys are victims of the second shock of unemployment.
<v Jack Thomas>I believe my best year was 1978, and if memory recalls <v Jack Thomas>me right, I made just a little over 23000 dollars. <v Jack Thomas>Right now, my base pay is 14000 dollars. <v Jack Thomas>You're looking at roughly 10000 dollars difference. <v Jack Thomas>And that's a lot of change. <v Lee Thomas>He's not making the money he used to make. <v Lee Thomas>It's his third job since he was laid off from Eaton in as many years. <v Lee Thomas>He still doesn't feel like he belongs there. <v Lee Thomas>He doesn't feel like he fits in. <v Lee Thomas>I think if he wasn't married and didn't have a family to support, he wouldn't have taken <v Lee Thomas>the job. <v Jack Thomas>When I was on unemployment, I was bringing home 198 dollars a week. <v Jack Thomas>And I have a stack of papers that I can show <v Jack Thomas>you. I wasn't sitting on my buns. <v Jack Thomas>I was out looking for a job, but I was getting 198 dollars <v Jack Thomas>to be at my house.
<v Jack Thomas>And right now I'm bringing home 210 dollars a week and I'm putting in <v Jack Thomas>40 hours. <v Host>Dr. Barry Bluestone's research indicates that Jack Thomas is an example of <v Host>what usually happens to an unemployed blue collar worker when he finds another job. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>If you take the typical auto worker who lost their <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>job 2 years ago, today that auto worker is making 46 percent <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>less. The average auto worker is making 46 percent less <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>than the auto worker who kept his job. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>Over a period of 6 years, you would think surely enough time for an auto worker <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>to regain a decent job, we're finding that the average auto worker is <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>still 16 percent worse off than he would <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>have been if he had kept his job. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>In steel, the numbers are almost the same. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>In aerospace, they're similar. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>In the petrochemical industry, they're similar. <v Host>Jack Thomas did not expect this problem when he got out of the army in 1968.
<v Host>He had just completed 13 months in Vietnam where he earned a Purple Heart. <v Host>When he came home, he worked here, where the Nesbitt Company used to make heating and <v Host>ventilating equipment. 7 years later, Nesbitt moved south <v Host>and did not ask Jack to come along. <v Jack Thomas>They found some tax free land in the south. <v Jack Thomas>They found paid training. <v Jack Thomas>And I'm not knocking the south, but they were putting me out of work. <v Host>Jack quickly found work at Eaton, where he also stayed for 7 years. <v Host>Then once again, he lost his job to a plant closing. <v Jack Thomas>I was really disturbed. Like I said before, I want a job where <v Jack Thomas>I can be somewhere forever. <v Jack Thomas>I mean, I have friends and relatives who have years and years <v Jack Thomas>with 1 company, and the <v Jack Thomas>company helps them and they help their company. <v Jack Thomas>[background chatter] <v Host>Jack likes to work with his hands. <v Host>His hobby is repairing model railroad cars.
<v Host>Being a production dispatcher at Eaton didn't allow him to use his skills. <v Host>So when he thought Eaton was heading for a shutdown, he decided to go to an auto <v Host>body repair school while continuing to work 12-hour days at Eaton. <v Jack Thomas>I took advantage of the G.I. Bill and went to a local school <v Jack Thomas>for auto body repair. <v Jack Thomas>It was timed just about right. I saw Yale going downhill and <v Jack Thomas>I figured I'd better get some- something else to fall back on in <v Jack Thomas>case they did. <v Lee Thomas>Jack's schedule was: get up at 7:00 in the morning, be at school at 8:00. <v Lee Thomas>From 8 to 3 was school. <v Lee Thomas>I would have to make break- a lunch for him before he'd go, pack lunch. <v Lee Thomas>I'd have to have dinner ready when he came home from school at 3:15 because he had to <v Lee Thomas>leave the house a quarter to 4:00 to go to his full-time job, which he worked from <v Lee Thomas>4:00 o'clock to 4:30 at Eaton Corporation. <v Lee Thomas>That was the night shift. He'd come home.
<v Lee Thomas>He'd need about half an hour to unwind. <v Lee Thomas>He'd read the paper or something. Then he'd go to bed for an hour and a half. <v Lee Thomas>Get up. Start the day all over. For a year and a half, almost 2 years, he did this. <v Lee Thomas>I woke him up 1 time and he knew where he was at. <v Lee Thomas>He didn't remember what day it was. <v Lee Thomas>He didn't know where he was supposed to go to. <v Lee Thomas>And that's when I started to really get concerned. I thought, you know, I mean, I knew he <v Lee Thomas>was overdoing it, but he wouldn't quit. <v Lee Thomas>He's not a quitter. <v Host>Jack finished school on almost the same day that Eaton shut down. <v Host>He has a job today, but not because he went to school. <v Host>And he is making little more than half of what he made at Eaton. <v Jack Thomas>Once you've done your training, most of your schools lead you to believe that <v Jack Thomas>when you're done, you're going to go out and you're going to set the world on fire. <v Jack Thomas>And it doesn't happen. And you go to a place and they say, well, you know, what <v Jack Thomas>kind of experience do you have? <v Jack Thomas>Well, I just got out of school. Well, fine. We have a job here and we can make- start you <v Jack Thomas>out at 3.50 an hour. <v Jack Thomas>You can't support a house. You can't support kids.
<v Jack Thomas>You can't feed yourself on 3.50 an hour. <v Jack Thomas>And you get angry. Uh the job that I have <v Jack Thomas>now, I took 1)because I want to stay in painting <v Jack Thomas>for a while, and 2) I need the benefits. <v Jack Thomas>I could've went to any number of small body shops to practice my trade. <v Jack Thomas>But the majority of those body shops can't afford to pay BlueCross and BlueShield <v Jack Thomas>and I can't afford to pay it on my own. <v Lee Thomas>I think Jack's a victim of circumstance, the wrong place <v Lee Thomas>at the wrong time. Even was a very good place to be. <v Lee Thomas>But since then, things for him just don't go right. <v Lee Thomas>There were times when I felt that he was blaming me and the children for him not being <v Lee Thomas>able to try something new. The past years it's been um- <v Lee Thomas>it hasn't been as good as it was. We go to counseling now. <v Lee Thomas>I expect it may get a lot worse. <v Lee Thomas>Until he finds what he looking for. <v Lee Thomas>Until he finds something that means as much
<v Lee Thomas>to him, I guess as I do, that he can feel <v Lee Thomas>that he's accomplishing something in life. <v Lee Thomas>I think he's going to have <v Lee Thomas>this depression to some extent or other. <v Lee Thomas>I don't know. I don't know whether he resents me, whether he resents his whole life. <v Lee Thomas>It hurts when you don't have what you used to have. <v Host>Tom Barrett worked at Eaton for 23 years. <v Host>Shortly after he lost his job, his wife Phyllis was laid off. <v Host>They have 3 sons. Their oldest boy is out of school and laid off <v Host>like many other unemployed workers. <v Host>Tom is trying to go into business for himself. <v Tom Barrett>I knew the plant with closing so I uh um- we took our vacation
<v Tom Barrett>money, matter of fact, that year, and I- I bought <v Tom Barrett>a very old 1971 Chevy truck. <v Tom Barrett>And it was in bad, very bad shape. <v Tom Barrett>And my wife and I had a big- that was our first fight over <v Tom Barrett>money, when the plant- knowing the plant was going to close, I told her we <v Tom Barrett>couldn't take a vacation this year, that I was gonna spend our vacation money on this <v Tom Barrett>truck. And I actually rebuilt the truck. <v Tom Barrett>My brother helped me. We- I rebuilt the truck from the ground up. <v Tom Barrett>We put another motor in the windshield and it didn't cost <v Tom Barrett>a lot of money, the truck. But in the long run, the investment I put in it was pretty <v Tom Barrett>extensive. I would like to have a small business. <v Tom Barrett>More a something more in control of my fate than than <v Tom Barrett>than it was at the plant. <v Tom Barrett>I'd like to start a small business and earn a living. <v Tom Barrett>Just earn a living that's- I'm not- at my age, I'm not out to uh
<v Tom Barrett>conquer the world anymore, I just- I just want to earn a living and I hope to <v Tom Barrett>be able to use a truck to do in real estate, clean house <v Tom Barrett>and I'm cleaning cellars, I'm doing anything manual that I <v Tom Barrett>can to make a dollar. <v Tom Barrett>I had a choice between maintaining the insurance on my truck <v Tom Barrett>that I bought to work with and the car. <v Tom Barrett>So I- I sold the car in order to keep the truck on the road 'cause I could <v Tom Barrett>earn a dollar with the truck. I can't earn anything with a car. <v Tom Barrett>So I let the car go and we're just using the big truck now to go <v Tom Barrett>grocery shopping and we're driving around this big old truck. <v Tom Barrett>The insurance is due in April. <v Tom Barrett>And I don't know, I may be parking the truck uh if <v Tom Barrett>I can't get enough money up for the insurance on a truck, <v Tom Barrett>I may not be. I may have to go out of business. <v Tom Barrett>The small, tiny business that I'm in and work for somebody
<v Tom Barrett>else until things do get better and then go back on my own again. <v Phyllis Barrett>In the beginning, he was depressed. <v Phyllis Barrett>He was very, very mad at the company for moving. <v Phyllis Barrett>He thought he was going to be secure and that he put <v Phyllis Barrett>so much of himself into that company and they turned around and didn't <v Phyllis Barrett>care what happened to him. <v Phyllis Barrett>He just. <v Phyllis Barrett>It affected men, I think. Terrible. <v Phyllis Barrett>They just. <v Phyllis Barrett>They're- all their dreams were, you know, in that factory, goin' to work <v Phyllis Barrett>supporting their family and it was taken away from them. <v Phyllis Barrett>They felt lost. <v Phyllis Barrett>They were scared. They didn't know what to do. <v Phyllis Barrett>And it is going to be hard for them to find other jobs. <v Phyllis Barrett>Especially the kind of work that they did, which is no longer around. <v Tom Barrett>At 43, it's hard to start over again. <v Tom Barrett>And I have to compete with people like my 18-year-old son.
<v Tom Barrett>If he walked in for a new job in a factory or a whatever, <v Tom Barrett>whatever field he chooses, I would feel that if I was the employer, <v Tom Barrett>I would hire my son. He's- he's 18 and bright-eyed, and I'm 43 and <v Tom Barrett>uh [laughs] I would hire him. <v Tom Barrett>I had BlueCross and BlueShield, a dental plan, and I had a retirement plan. <v Tom Barrett>Right now we have- we have no coverage at all. <v Tom Barrett>I don't know. I hope, I pray to God nothing goes wrong with the uh with <v Tom Barrett>her health or my health, you know, or the children. <v Tom Barrett>But right now we have no coverage. <v Tom Barrett>We're not covered at all. <v Tom Barrett>That's a big thing in your life. <v Tom Barrett>A little more security. We lost due to the closing of the plant. <v Tom Barrett>Learned to live with a little fear. <v Phyllis Barrett>Right now there is no American dream. <v Phyllis Barrett>There is no money or jobs out there to save for
<v Phyllis Barrett>a dream. <v Host>Do these victims of the second loss, these workers who have found jobs that pay far <v Host>less than their previous jobs paid, for them the health risks are as serious <v Host>as for those who remain unemployed? <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>In the second phase of loss and grief, <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>we typically find an increase in heart disease mortality <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>and stroke mortality. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>In a variety of chronic disease-related death, um <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>diseases which take a while to develop, which is why we call them chronic, <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>but uh mortality does not occur immediately. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>It takes about 2 to 3 years to come <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>to its peak following the recession. <v Host>The 2500 jobs lost at Eaton's Philadelphia plant since 1968
<v Host>are a small fraction of the 30 million industrial jobs that have disappeared in the <v Host>United States in the past 15 years. <v Host>There are many reasons those jobs are gone. <v Man>You still have some people working here? I thought the plant was closed. <v Security Guard>The production part is. That's closed tight. <v Host>Companies like Eaton, for example, rarely closed factories because of bankruptcy. <v Host>They often close plants because such shutdowns improve their financial picture. <v Joseph Eagen>I noticed in BusinessWeek this week it said, "In 1982, Eaton <v Joseph Eagen>closed 5 facilities and discontinued its lift truck operation. <v Joseph Eagen>Through contributing to company's first loss in 50 years, these actions strengthened <v Joseph Eagen>Eaton's financial position. <v Joseph Eagen>Over the past 3 years, Eaton cut its debt by 40 percent, drove down its break, even cost <v Joseph Eagen>by 500 million, generated positive cash flow of 300 million." Well, <v Joseph Eagen>that says it all. <v Joseph Eagen>It's become a financial corporation instead of making products. <v Host>The Reverend David Gracie thinks the Eaton closing is an example of a corporation
<v Host>emphasizing profits over workers. <v Reverend David Gracie>But what we have with Eaton and what we've seen with other corporations is <v Reverend David Gracie>that it becomes the sole measure and not just profit, but the <v Reverend David Gracie>highest possible profit becomes the only determining factor <v Reverend David Gracie>about where you produce, who you hire, who you fire. <v Reverend David Gracie>And we can't let that continue. <v Host>Eaton does not agree that it turned its back on workers for the sake of profits. <v Host>The corporation feels it did what it had to do to stay in the forklift business. <v Host>In a telephone conversation, Eaton vice president Daniel Brubeck stated <v Host>that: "Japan can beat the pants off us in making the mass-produced forklift. <v Host>To avoid being pushed out of the market, Eaton bought into a Japanese forklift firm. <v Otis Port>You're talking basically about whether or not a company can sell its product. <v Otis Port>Now, if the most important thing to a company is selling its product, it's got to do <v Otis Port>whatever it needs to do in order to remain competitive. <v Otis Port>Now, as you said, the Japanese are selling forklifts in the US for
<v Otis Port>substantially less, approximately 20 to perhaps as much as 30 percent <v Otis Port>less than what forklifts made in the United States sell for. <v Otis Port>If a company wants to continue selling product, continue to continue to be profitable, to <v Otis Port>continue to be viable, to remain in business, it's got to do whatever is necessary. <v Otis Port>In this particular case, going offshore makes the most sense, providing the company <v Otis Port>doesn't have the wherewithal or the expertise to automate. <v Host>Dr. Bluestone wants companies to find automation much more attractive than relocating <v Host>plants overseas. He wants current tax and tariff laws changed <v Host>because he says they give companies incentives to relocate. <v Host>He wants changes in interest rate regulations that would make it cheaper for a company to <v Host>modernize rather than relocate. <v Host>And he wants legislation that requires companies that are not going out of business to <v Host>give a 1-year notice to employees of a plant that is about to shut down. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>We need to slow down that capital mobility. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>I don't think it's possible or perhaps even desirable to stop it altogether.
<v Dr. Barry Bluestone>But the speed at which capital is moving, just the sheer velocity <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>of capital mobility is so rapid that it leaves workers, <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>their families and communities with no way to plan. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>So some of the national legislation we need includes plant closing legislation <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>like several European countries have. <v Otis Port>The European companies used to be much better at international competition than they are <v Otis Port>now. And I have and, you know, I have not looked into the situation carefully, but I <v Otis Port>would suspect that those penalties are one reason why they are losing market share in the <v Otis Port>international markets. The penalty wouldn't work without substantial tariffs <v Otis Port>at the borders. In other words, you're- the minute we start embarking on a course like <v Otis Port>that, we're taking the first steps towards erecting a fence around the United States. <v Otis Port>And it just ain't going to work in today's world. <v Host>No one would be debating this issue if foreign products were not saturating the American <v Host>market today. We import 28 percent of our cars, 18 percent <v Host>of our steel, 55 percent of our electronic consumer goods.
<v Host>Foreign products are a large part of the U.S. <v Host>market because many American consumers believe they are reliable and often less <v Host>expensive than their American competition. <v Host>The lower wage overseas is 1 reason foreign products are cheaper, but not the <v Host>major reason, according to Richard DeLone, an employment policy analyst. <v Richard DeLone>Some industry studies looking at, for instance, Japanese auto industry versus <v Richard DeLone>the U.S. auto industry, conclude that labor costs and labor <v Richard DeLone>productivity aren't all, in fact, all that much different, as we imagined it to be, but <v Richard DeLone>it has much more to do with the kind of capital plan, capital investments and marketing <v Richard DeLone>strategies that had been chosen. <v Richard DeLone>There have been several studies done by quality experts, by productivity experts <v Richard DeLone>and by management consultants. <v Richard DeLone>And generally the number is pretty consistent, about 80 percent of it. <v Richard DeLone>Maybe a little bit more is attributable to management. <v Richard DeLone>If Detroit had started manufacturing small cars in 1971 <v Richard DeLone>instead of- instead of waiting until the late 70s, its products
<v Richard DeLone>would be competitive. But they decided now they're going to continue to manufacture <v Richard DeLone>dinosaurs and they did. You can't blame the workers for that. <v Otis Port>So many of the things that are- that are wrong with or that uh that U.S. <v Otis Port>businesses done improperly or incorrectly have been due <v Otis Port>I think in large part to the fact that a lot of our executives today have never worked <v Otis Port>in a factory, have no line experience. <v Otis Port>They've gone to a business school that's trained them to be financial manipulators, and <v Otis Port>they're exceedingly good at that. <v Otis Port>What they just don't understand the problems in the factory floor and a lot of the <v Otis Port>decisions that should be made aren't being made or are being made <v Otis Port>improperly. <v Host>Although most of the blame for shutdowns goes to management, some of the blame must be <v Host>shared by unions. This was once the Midvale-Heppenstal steel mill in Philadelphia. <v Host>This was once the largest steel press in the Western Hemisphere. <v Host>Foreign competition threatened its existence for years, but the final blow came <v Host>in 1977, when workers and management could not agree on a new contract. <v Robert Fina>Primarily, there was a union dispute going on
<v Robert Fina>at Midvale with a long strike and a long strike that turned, I suppose, um <v Robert Fina>unfortunately nasty on both sides. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>There's a maintenance of a pattern of <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>um uh bitterness on the part of those whom we refer <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>to as labor and management. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>But as part of the tradition of their training, as part of the pattern of their <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>behavior with each other, and unless that is broken into, somehow, it just maintains <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>itself under conditions of crisis. It becomes worse. <v Dr. Harvey Brenner>There is- there is warfare. There are strikes, there are lockouts, there are shutdowns. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>If we are to move toward greater cooperation between business, labor <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>and government, it has to be based on some semblance of fairness. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>You know, what we have now, in effect, is a poker game in which <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>labor and management come to the table together, but management <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>has all the chips. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>We have an economy now which allows management to say, if you don't like the deal we're
<v Dr. Barry Bluestone>offering, we'll pick up our chips and go somewhere else. <v Otis Port>I suppose that uh that I would lay most of the blame on the unions <v Otis Port>for the confrontational nature of the relationship between labor <v Otis Port>and management. <v Otis Port>The 1 thing that the Japanese do that we need to learn more about, <v Otis Port>that we need to learn how to do better is cooperate between labor and management. <v Host>This is an American version of what the Japanese do to create cooperation between labor <v Host>and management. These men are hourly employees at Merck Sharp and Dohme, <v Host>the pharmaceutical company. <v Host>They are part of a group of employees and supervisors who are meeting to improve <v Host>productivity and discuss how to save the company money. <v Host>They belong to what is called a quality circle, a process widely used in <v Host>Japan. <v John Dresher>A fellow named General MacArthur, Douglas MacArthur, imported it to Japan <v John Dresher>when he was in charge of the occupation and along with the help of a <v John Dresher>Doctor Ishikawa.
<v John Dresher>They were able to expand the program to the point where <v John Dresher>it became a very efficient way of managing, and a very concerned way of managing, concern <v John Dresher>in regards to how you treat people. <v John Dresher>And the better you treat people, the net result is the better your product, the better <v John Dresher>your product, the stronger your company becomes. <v Manager>Is this your first experience of being able to have a say in <v Manager>your work process? This quality circle? <v Worker>Yeah, I think as a group it is, like- like Bob had said, <v Worker>you know, he was on a 1 to 1 basis. You had to go into the office and when you're on your <v Worker>own, if you want any ramifications done or something. <v Worker>But here we can meet as a group you know and- and share the ideas <v Worker>and come up with 1. <v Manager>What advantages do you see to this type of process? <v Manager>Over the former process where you would just end up going up to your boss and saying, <v Manager>look, I had this idea, this isn't working. <v Worker 2>Everyone's an equal now. In this room, everyone's an equal. <v Worker 2>My idea is just as valuable as a director's or anyone
<v Worker 2>from corporate, or my immediate supervisor, or someone who may be my coworker. <v Worker 2>All our opinions are equal. <v John Dresher>Both sides, if you will, have to make a commitment. <v John Dresher>They've gotta learn to listen, when I'm not so sure that everyone was willing to listen <v John Dresher>in the past, and if they listened, do they really understand? <v John Dresher>I think maybe what's happened to the economy in the last couple of years has- has forced <v John Dresher>us to understand each other. <v Host>This supermarket is a good example of what can happen when both sides are willing to <v Host>listen. Cooperation between management and labor created this O & O, <v Host>a former A & P that is now owned and operated by employees. <v Host>When A & P decided that it was going to close its supermarkets in the Philadelphia area, <v Host>the Food and Commercial Workers Union, representing A & P workers, stepped in. <v Wendell Young>The week that we were going to announce uh the- that the- we're going to bid on 2 <v Wendell Young>stores, we decided to put a bid on all the stores that A & P were closing in southeastern <v Wendell Young>Pennsylvania [fade to background]. <v Host>Wendell Young is president of Philadelphia's Food and Commercial Workers Union. <v Host>By negotiating with A & P, he put many union members into the supermarket business.
<v Wendell Young>What happened was, after we bid on these 2 stores and then extended the bid on <v Wendell Young>all the stores, it generated negotiations with the parent company A & P. <v Wendell Young>We came out with this new program of super fresh, which is part ownership, where <v Wendell Young>employees get 1 percent of the gross volume. <v Host>During negotiations, the union agreed to an average pay cut of 2 dollars an hour for <v Host>its super fresh employees. <v Host>O & O owners and employees have also taken the cut. <v Host>A & P agreed to remain in Philadelphia through the newly created subsidiary Super <v Host>Fresh, and A & P agreed that the chain would be partly owned by employees. <v Host>A& P sold to stores outright to 43 union employees who turned them into <v Host>O & O's. This agreement saved over 2000 jobs and made Leo Maiorini, <v Host>an owner of a supermarket. <v Leo Maiorini>There are 25 of us that own the store. <v Leo Maiorini>I would estimate there were done somewhere in the vicinity of 30 percent better than A & <v Leo Maiorini>P did. I don't feel as restricted as I did when I worked for A & P. <v Leo Maiorini>Anything that we want to do in a store, the sale items, how we want to run the business
<v Leo Maiorini>and so on, I have a direct input into it, which I did not have working for a chain, <v Leo Maiorini>and that in a sense has to make you feel like you're part of something. <v Leo Maiorini>We're in it to make a profit, but we're not in it to make it an exorbitant profit. <v Leo Maiorini>This is a living for us. <v Leo Maiorini>We- we don't have to answer to a board of directors in- in the sense that a chain does. <v Leo Maiorini>If our bottom line is too little or- or- or not enough. <v Leo Maiorini>So we- we basically price str- do a price structure where it's enough for us to show <v Leo Maiorini>a moderate profit, but then just enough to run the business and keep us- to keep us <v Leo Maiorini>working. <v Host>Until the workers bought the O & O's work of buyouts in this country took place only in <v Host>heavy industry. They had saved over 100000 jobs, and Wendell Young <v Host>believes they could have saved more. <v Wendell Young>A good friend of mine, Norman Lahnslager, was involved in that Eaton situation in <v Wendell Young>northeast Philadelphia, and I think it'd be much easier to do in an Eaton situation than <v Wendell Young>in a retail store where you have 8 to 10 to 12 thousand different items and you have <v Wendell Young>to know all kinds of how light moves and a lot of different factors involved the retail
<v Wendell Young>store like this. <v Host>Even if labor and management become partners in an effort to save jobs in industry for <v Host>this country, there is another hurdle that may be bigger than both of them. <v Otis Port>Studies have been done which show that it is possible to build most products <v Otis Port>that the Japanese undersell us on here in the United States for at least <v Otis Port>as little as the Japanese to providing we automate. <v Otis Port>But you still throw the people out of business. <v Host>It is the catch 22 of today's economy in order to compete with foreign <v Host>markets. Companies have a choice either move overseas or automate. <v Host>Either decision tosses millions of Americans out of work. <v Host>This is a robot arm at Marck Sharp and Dohme. <v Host>To some workers, it is simply called scab. <v Interviewer>How did you do it for me? <v Line Supervisor>[coughs] Excuse me. We had 2 people hand-feed the belt, pick them out of the <v Line Supervisor>trays, and put them onto the belt. The advantage is you have control
<v Line Supervisor>mechanically over the line. <v Line Supervisor>You have complete control, and actually what we're doing is competing with foreign <v Line Supervisor>markets. A foreign- look at the Japanese. <v Line Supervisor>They're using robots- look their um the auto industry, completely mechanized. <v Line Supervisor>We have to compete with the competition. <v Host>Merck Sharp and Dohme is part of the high tech industry. <v Host>It is eliminating some of its jobs through such high tech innovations as this robot arm. <v Host>To compete with overseas markets, heavy industry is doing the same. <v Host>Detroit's automakers have installed 2800 robots in their factories, <v Host>and that is just the beginning. <v Host>A Harvard Business School study concluded that to compete with Japan, Ford can keep <v Host>only half of the 256 thousand workers it had in 1978. <v Otis Port>We are right now on the threshold of a massive transition to robotics. <v Otis Port>There are industries that are talking about displacing tens of <v Otis Port>thousands of workers over the next 20 years or so by robots.
<v Otis Port>Going to robotics fully means redesigning your plant to make maximum <v Otis Port>effect, to realize maximum benefits from the robots. <v Otis Port>And when that happens, you're going to displace a lot of the peripheral workers <v Otis Port>other than just the guy who's doing the job that the robot does as well. <v Otis Port>So some people say that it's possible that each robot may displace as many as 8 or 9 <v Otis Port>workers. I think that's a little bit high, but let's say it's at least 5 or 6. <v Host>Some economists estimate that robotics will permanently eliminate over a million <v Host>blue-collar workers by the year 2000. <v Host>Where do these blue-collar workers turn for jobs? <v Host>1 answer often given is high technology. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>High tech at most today employs 2 and a half percent <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>of the total labor force. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>97 and a half percent of all workers in America work outside of high tech. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>And even in Massachusetts, the high tech capital of the world, we are <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>up all the way to 11 percent of the labor force in high tech. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>Almost 9 out of 10 jobs are outside of that sector. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>So even if the rest of the country were to catch up with Massachusetts, we're still
<v Dr. Barry Bluestone>talking 90 percent or more of the labor force outside of high tech. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>It's not going to save us. <v Otis Port>High technology is using high technology. <v Otis Port>Texas Instruments, which makes computers and microchips and all <v Otis Port>that kind of stuff, used to make watches, calculators, <v Otis Port>uses robots. IBM uses a lot of robots, as a matter of fact, they're- they've even become <v Otis Port>a robot producer or supplier, and they are selling robots on the open market now. <v Otis Port>Now, most of your high technology jobs, there are not <v Otis Port>that many of them to begin with. <v Otis Port>And secondly, they're not all that well-paying. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>It means for the ex-shoe worker or the worker once had a job in the apparel <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>industry, that worker is 5 times more likely to end up working at McDonald's <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>than working at Digital or Wang or Prime Computer. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>The implications for America of that downward mobility is <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>immense. It's tremendous. <v Host>And high technology does not guarantee job security. <v Host>The workers and the quality circle at Merck Sharp and Dohme are threatened with layoffs
<v Host>because the product they produce is being phased out. <v Worker>I don't think there's anyone who feels absolutely secure in my position that I've got it <v Worker>and that's it. <v Worker>You can go anywhere, any industry today, and you're going to find out that <v Worker>you don't have the securities of the 60s and the early 70s. <v Host>Most blue-collar workers have little chance of getting a high tech job without going <v Host>through retraining programs like the one at this computer school. <v Host>Because of the expense involved, only about 1 tenth of 1 percent of the American <v Host>workforce is usually in a retraining program. <v Richard DeLone>The status of retraining in the U.S. <v Richard DeLone>today is just about at ground 0. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>In some countries Germany, Sweden, we have a very active <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>training, retraining and retraining program. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>That is, the government is committed to a large <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>program of retraining, migration allowances. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>I think in Sweden, for example, something between 2 and 3 percent of the labor force is
<v Dr. Barry Bluestone>always undergoing retraining. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>They're always on top of the new technologies. <v Richard DeLone>Well, a number of West- uh Western European countries have an approach, <v Richard DeLone>which seems to me to make more sense. <v Richard DeLone>Germany, France, and others. <v Richard DeLone>And the basic element of that approach, which is- which is missing here, <v Richard DeLone>I think it's particularly important, is that this is a continuous <v Richard DeLone>process. It's not an emergency service that you're trying to slot in <v Richard DeLone>and that it has a routine, predictable funding base, because <v Richard DeLone>corporations are taxed to contribute to retraining. <v Host>Many blue-collar workers who have found jobs have found them in the service sector. <v Host>Today, McDonald's employs more people than U.S. <v Host>Steel. But salaries for service jobs do not compare with blue-collar wages. <v Richard DeLone>There's been tremendous amount of job creation in this society in the last 10 or 15 <v Richard DeLone>years. And a lot of those jobs have been low-paying jobs. <v Richard DeLone>You look at the- at the fast food industry is just 1 commonly cited example.
<v Richard DeLone>Didn't exist really 15 years ago. <v Richard DeLone>And now it's all over the place and employs tens <v Richard DeLone>and tens of thousands of people. <v Richard DeLone>That's become sort of the new unskilled labor in America. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>Large numbers of the 3 million workers who have lost their jobs in the last 4 years <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>in the basic industries are finding either that they can't find new jobs at all <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>because the entire economy of their communities is in <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>disarray or when they're finding new jobs, they're finding them in <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>McDonald's and Kmart, jobs that pay perhaps no more than one <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>half or one third of the wage they were used to. <v Host>And although service jobs are growing rapidly, they are not coming close to replacing the <v Host>number of jobs lost in this country. <v Otis Port>The service sector is not capable of absorbing, or at least it doesn't seem <v Otis Port>to be capable of absorbing all the people that are being displaced from the industrial <v Otis Port>sector. So the question is, what do we do with those people? <v Host>Small businesses like the Delta Paper Company in Philadelphia are a partial answer.
<v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>We found also statistically that over the last 5 years that 80 to 90 <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>percent of the jobs that were created came from small businesses, came from firms <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>that employed 200 people or less, with the majority of those firms employing 50 <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>people or less. That's a national statistic. <v Host>That is the good news. The bad news is that jobs in small businesses often pay <v Host>less than similar jobs in large firms and often have a short lifespan. <v Host>Last year, over 25000 businesses went bankrupt. <v Host>The vast majority of them were small businesses. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>It is true that small business produces a lot of new jobs, but it also <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>is true that it destroys a lot of new jobs. <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>The average period of time between a startup <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>of a new small firm and its closing is very brief 2, 3 <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>years. We know, for example, that of all the small businesses <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>that existed in 1969, 51 percent of them were no longer <v Dr. Barry Bluestone>in business by 1976.
<v Otis Port>Frankly, when you take all the possibilities and add them all up and I haven't done this <v Otis Port>methodically, so I'm just speculating, OK, it seems to me that we're still not <v Otis Port>going to be able to absorb all the people that are <v Otis Port>being displaced from the manufacturing sector into productive jobs in the U.S. <v Host>In northeast Philadelphia, many former Eaton workers have not been absorbed by the <v Host>economy. They represent the painful end of an era in the American workplace. <v Danny Chmelko>I think a lot of these people saw their dreams shattered. <v Danny Chmelko>They came into this plant as young boys following their father's <v Danny Chmelko>footsteps in the same plant when it was down at ?Taconey? <v Danny Chmelko>Street and Bridesburg. Now they've seen their dreams shattered. <v Danny Chmelko>Their job is eliminated. Their sons will never have an opportunity to follow <v Danny Chmelko>in their footsteps. It's a say- it's a shame to see a dream turn into a nightmare, <v Danny Chmelko>but it's no doubt it's been shattered for them. <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>The economy that offered low-skilled, entry-level jobs is gone. <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>So here they are. And we didn't create it ?inaudible?
<v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>He doesn't deserve that problem. <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>It's a national problem. That guy sitting up in- in- in the northeast whose unemployed, <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>he didn't create that problem. It's now his problem now. <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>What's he going to do? He can't solve it by himself. <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>And our cities aren't going to solve it by themselves. It's a national problem; it needs <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>to be addressed politically. <v Host>There are no easy political solutions for the problems facing blue-collar workers today. <v Host>The combination of solutions we have seen are only a partial answer. <v Host>Unless labor management and government can develop long term solutions to the problem, <v Host>millions of skilled Americans who are once the backbone of this nation will become <v Host>economically crippled for the rest of their lives. <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>What it means for our society is that workers who <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>have always believed in the American way of life, have believed that if <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>they worked hard, if they played according to the rules of the game, <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>they would be able to have a better life in the future than they are today. <v Dr. Theodore Hershberg>For those workers, we're finding that the American dream is shattered. <v Host>Bill Reis found a job 11 months after being laid off.
<v Host>It paid 120 dollars less a week than Eaton. <v Host>6 weeks after getting the job, he and 3 other workers were laid off. <v Host>Jack Thomas is still earning about 10000 dollars less a year than he was making at Eaton. <v Host>Tom Barrett's trash collection business is failing. <v Host>He is now actively looking for work.
When a Factory Closes
Producing Organization
WITF-TV (Television station : Harrisburg, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Program Description
"'When a Factory Closes,' a one-hour documentary aimed at a general audience, examines blue collar unemployment from two angles. "First it studies three men who lost their jobs when the Eaton Corporation, an international conglomerate headquartered in Cleveland, shut down its Philadelphia operations. This section describes why Eaton closed the plant and what effects the shutdown has had on these men and their families. "The second part of the program demonstrates that the Eaton story has been repeated thousands of times in this country in the past decade. Like many of those companies, Eaton closed its forklift plant because the corporation could not compete with foreign markets. "The program concludes by examining modernization, the high technology and service industries, and retraining programs, and finds that they will not create the jobs or salaries necessary to absorb many of the millions of blue collar workers who lost their jobs in the last recession. "Besides the unemployed workers and their families, a number of experts are interviewed including Otis Port, associate editor of Business Week; Dr. Harvey Brenner, epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Barry Bluestone, professor of economics at Boston College."--1983 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: WITF-TV (Television station : Harrisburg, Pa.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-19f1f753693 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:58:00
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Chicago: “When a Factory Closes,” 1983-11-08, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “When a Factory Closes.” 1983-11-08. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: When a Factory Closes. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from