Auto show powered behind the scenes with blue collar muscle

Image 1 of 3

The North American International Auto Show opens next week, but it does not happen by magic.

Behind the booming sound systems, bright lights and show-stopping cars is a work force that makes it all go.

The juxtaposition is striking if you take the time to notice it.

A video screen showing a loop of totally rad, awesome, righteous, dope, sick, amazing things thrill-seekers do for fun - set against a decidedly mundane foreground of hi-los, wooden crates and blue collar union workers in Carhartts and jeans.

Guys carrying lunch coolers covered in pro labor stickers at Cobo Center.

It's the North American International Auto Show's reality behind the fantasy.

All of this nailing, sawing and pounding to create the glitz to sell cars done by proud, organized labor, which is how it's--

"Supposed to be," said one worker. "Take pride in your work and do a good job."

"We're all union down here, we're all brothers, we all work together," said another. "Electricians, carpenters, millwrights."

"It is a tough process," another worker said. "It's very congested, there are a lot of talented Hi Lo drivers down here and that's what it takes."

A symphony of blue collar assemblage. 

And then, after the unveilings and flashbulbs, the black tie preview, the public show. It all has to come down and go back in crates.