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Remembering Henry Ford's $5 day for line workers

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Crain News Service report

DETROIT (Jan. 8, 2014) — One hundred years ago Henry Ford made a move that angered his peers and changed the nation — he introduced the $5-a-day wage for Ford line workers.

It was about twice the going rate for unskilled labor and helped Ford Motor Co.'s workers to buy their own vehicles, limiting labor turnover and boosting productivity.

The year before, Mr. Ford had incorporated the moving assembly line into his Highland Park, Mich., factory, increasing productivity with a smaller labor force and making his Model T more affordable.

The wage increase was a result of the increased production ability that came with the assembly line, helping to make auto workers the best paid blue-collar employees in the country.

For more coverage from the Automotive News archives, click here.

This report appeared in Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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