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TomClash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 07:53 AM
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Michigan - 1936



"During the Great Depression, unemployment was high. Many employers tried to get as much work as possible from their employees for the lowest possible wage. Workers were upset with the speedup of assembly lines, working conditions and the lack of job security. Seeking strength in unity, they formed unions. Automobile workers organized the U.A.W. (United Automobile Workers of America) in 1935. General Motors would not recognize the U.A.W. as the workers' bargaining representative. Hearing rumors that G.M. was moving work to factories where the union was not as strong, workers in Flint began a sit-down strike on December 30, 1936. The sit-down was an effective way to strike. When workers walked off the job and picketed a plant, management could bring in new workers to break the strike. If the workers stayed in the plant, management could not replace them with other workers. This photograph shows the broken windows at General Motors' Flint Fisher Body Plant during the Flint sit-down strike of 1936-37."



Strikers guarding window entrance to Fisher body plant number three. Flint, Michigan, Jan.-Feb. 1936.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:02 AM
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1. Those were some tough SOB's
They stood up to the power of the company. They wer tough enough to persevere and win.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:53 AM
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5. Compared to today's 'pussy' workforce they were supermen
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Pretty much
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 03:35 PM by Gman
I'd walk a picket line with pride with any one of those guys. I've had to argue and cajole people in the past to just get them to honor a picket line while they whined about why they couldn't go on strike. I'd have loved to have about 4 or 5 of these old UAW guys corner them.
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boomerbust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:03 AM
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2. Its happening today
Union and non union workers alike must stand together to stop the slide of labors standing in this country.
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TomClash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Especially the wage-benefit decline
With deflation, givebacks will be demanded everywhere with unemployment as the threat.
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mn9driver Donating Member (877 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. The strike was triggered by GM's attempt to lock them out.
The dies that are used to stamp out body panels are hugely expensive and difficult to duplicate. GM tried to remove these from the Flint body plant over the Christmas holidays when there was only a small workforce present--the plan was to move them to a non-union plant. The few workers that were there that night realized what was happening and shut the place down, chaining themselves to the presses to keep the dies from being moved.

Amazingly, GM didn't learn from this and tried it again a few years later--with the same result. Top GM management hated organized labor then, and they hate them now. The disinformation campaign being run by the media regarding UAW wages and benefits has its origins in GM's boardroom. They are scum.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. It's too bad that these are not the guys running unions today. K&R.
:kick: & R


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