Journalists visiting GM find out firsthand that building a car ain't easy

Over the years, we've heard of the supposed vast riches of the United Auto Worker. When accounting for health care and legacy costs, the typical UAW floor-sweeper earns over $70 per hour. The hard truth, however, is that even the tenured line worker receives less than half that amount in their paycheck before taxes, and about 20 percent of the UAW workforce makes only $14 per hour.

After spending some time at General Motors' training facility within the automaker's Orion assembly plant, Forbes reporter Joann Muller firmly believes that those workers are worth every penny they make. Her team, which consisted of 16 auto journalists, didn't fare so well when it came to mass-producing wooden mock-ups of vehicles.

The journalists had to drill bumpers, headlights and taillights in the wooden 'vehicle' frames, and in 20 minutes of work there were 22 safety violations and 25 quality defects. The scribes eventually got better at their tasks, as teamwork and diligence helped cut down on mistakes. In short, making cars isn't all that easy, and it's probably not journalist work, either. Head over to Forbes to read Muller's account.

[Source: Forbes | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]

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