Wanna Nice Job?


Fifth Estate # 272, May 1976

At Blue Bird Food Products, a union plant on Chicago’s South side, thirty-five television cameras mounted on moveable tracks keep constant surveillance on 450 workers on the factory floor. In the monitoring room, an “expert” in time-study keeps detailed charts on workers suspected of talking to their neighbors too often or working too slowly, with the bosses having an instant replay of any of the worker’s actions.

These factory police also require “travel passes,” obtainable from the foreman, for workers who want to go to the storeroom, telephone or washroom. And if anyone has thoughts of escape, a canine patrol circles the perimeter of the plant.

Other companies are reportedly studying the Blue Bird system for possible adoption in their own plants.

Thanks to the IWW and Rhode Island Solidarity for this information.