Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lots of This Going Around

Not animation, but the work dynamics have distinct similarities.

... "No one's really worried about the fact that you're so exhausted from working seven days a week, you're dependent on some drug to stay awake, or dependent on some drug to go asleep, or for pain," [Chris Young] says, relaxing after shift on an L-shaped leather couch at the home he rents in Columbia. His 37-year-old body is powerful, built like a football player's, but no longer impervious. "That's the most common thing people are addicted to. And everybody I work with has some type of pain, whether it's hands, fingers, back, feet, something."

Young doesn’t actually work for Nissan — he works for Yates Services, an in-house contractor that's hired thousands of people over the past few years to ramp up production as people started buying vehicles again. It’s a big difference.

Yates is like a company within a company, with separate bulletin boards and rules and procedures. The bona fide Nissan employees are easily recognizable through their logoed shirts, which Yates workers don't receive. And the disparity isn't just symbolic. Yates pays between $10 and $18 an hour, which is about half what Nissan employees make. Plus, the gap in benefits is wide. Back at home, Young pulls out a crumpled sheet of paper from the company that lays out the differences and pokes at the two columns with his finger. ...

What struck me as I read this is, manufacturing isn't all the different from animation or visual effects. People get wrist and other repetitive stress injuries. People have wages squeezed.

And, just as in animation/vfx, the employer is working tirelessly to get the jobs done "better, faster, cheaper."


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