The Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1937 erupted because of the way GM workers were treated by their employers. The working conditions were extremely dangerous and the pay workers received, really didn’t accumulate to the hours they worked. Union Organizations found this as the perfect opportunity to step in and support the workers. The Flint Sit-Down strike is Known as the most important strike in American History. The reason why is because it helped the United Automobile Workers (UAW) become a major union. This would also lead to the Unionization of the United States automobile industry. Now i will go off into how the New Deal helped strengthen Unionization. Once Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in 1933 he started making progress towards ending the economic crisis that the U.S. faced. You have to remember that this was during the time when America was facing its biggest hardship known as “The Great Depression.” With that being noted Roosevelt passed the National Industrial Recovery Act. This initially gave unions the right to organize and made it illegal for employers to harass workers for being a member of a union. Unions begin to strengthen tremendously during this period. This was the first time unions was given rights, yet alone any acknowledgment by the government. The National Tax act also granted workers a minimum wage of Twenty-five cents per hour, and a set minimum of hours they were allowed to work per week. This really doesn’t seem much modern day but it was a relief for the workers back then. As for Unions, the most important aspect of the Act was the freedom to organize within a union of the workers choosing. I will now go more in depth about how the Workers felt during the strike. In the Michigan History book on page 240 the Flint Sit Down strike was addressed. The workers goal during the strike was to be insubordinate and hold up the assembly line. This would keep other workers who didn’t participate in the strike from cooperating. This reaction came from them receiving unfair treatment from employers. Striking would be the reason that sprung out hatred between workers and employers. In the Michigan history book i also found that there was a altercation between the workers and employers which resulted in 14 people being injured. This event was known as “Battle Of The Running Bulls.” The (UAW) Flint Sit-Down memorial also happened to be one of the sites i visited for the Semester project.
Martine, Richard. The New Deal, 2 Nov. 2013, Richard Martine, “National Industry Recovery Act,” Improve, Accessed November 2, 2013 http://www.improve.com/National-Industrial-Recovery-Act/2695.