Take a wild and bumpy ride through the world of a Chevrolet assembly plant in the 1960s as seen through the eyes of company employees and executives, rank and file union members and union leaders. The book begins as a union worker sabotages the passenger car assembly line, causing the line to be shut down and all work on the shift# grinding to a halt. The company knows who did it and fires the individual. Mike, the youngest Personnel Director in all of Chevrolet, is just one of those involved.
Both sides--the company and the local union--experience distrust and even though the upper levels of Chevrolet-GM management and the International UAW have a decent relationship, strain at all levels exists and grows. Into the Ditch delivers a colorful story about the mind-numbing work on the assembly line, coupled with the tension between management and the union, showing how their actions and a# attitudes--as well as those of their colleagues at Chrysler and Ford-- were driving the U.S. auto industry into the ditch.
The author, who began his career in 1960 at Chevrolet-Flint Assembly in Flint, Mich., deft#ly weaves a story of humor, sex, politics, sabotage, alcohol, criminal behavior and businesslabor relations, depicting typical events, including strikes, experienced by the union and company workers involved in building Chevrolet cars and trucks in Flint. His apt description of this assembly plant, one of over a dozen in Chevrolet, identifies one of the
most hostile management-union relationships in all of GM. And it pinpoints a time when management-union relations industry-wide were becoming more and more contentious which had a ripple effect long into the future.