machinery producers and textile manufacturers had been historically interested in merely replacing existing or worn-out machinery with occasional increases in speed or size.
During the 1960s there was an emphasis on new technology, such as automatic doffers, open-end spinning, and the computerization of the labor process. New developments sought to eliminate labor involved in the loading, doffing, and trucking of materials from one phase of production to another. As a result, many machine operatives were displaced as newer machines maintained and increased productivity levels while reducing the number of workers. Furthermore, remaining workers have become increasingly deskilled. Many operations performed by textile workers that required manual dexterity, among other skills, have been transferred to machines. Textile workers thus spend a greater proportion of the working day patrolling their machines for malfunctions, and tending a larger number of machines that operate at faster speeds than before.
As mechanization largely deskills labor and displaces workers from production, the workers' bargaining position vis-à-vis capital is weakened. With their dispensability, they cannot use their skills as a bargaining position against management. Moreover, the result of fewer workers patrolling a larger number of machines is the dispersal of workers in the mills, weakening workers at that point of production. Trends that seek to minimize labor input into production thus weaken The position of textile workers.