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[SOLVED!] Where Are Sit Down Strikes?

Over the years, unions have helped workers. An average car worker earned $900 in 1935. The United States government, however, determined that $1600 per month was the income that would allow a family with four to live comfortably. Companies resisted attempts to unionize and working conditions became difficult. For example, General Motors (GM) spent $839,000 on detective work in 1934 alone and used a group called ‘The Black Legion’ who employed various intimidation tactics against active union members 🙌 As a consequence of these policies, union organizers changed tactics and gradually the union gained strength 🙈 [1]
American workers were encouraged by the 1935 National Labor Relations Act. First time that the federal government had officially supported the practice of collective bargaining, unionism was encouraged. However, optimism faded around 1936 when workers were still fighting back against anti-union employers, who had refused to recognize that the Act was constitutional. Workers responded by using more innovative and aggressive strategies to pressure their employers into the bargaining room. The rise of shop floor militancy, ingenuity, and a new era of shopfloor violence is best demonstrated by the 1936-37 sit-down strike, when nearly 500,000 workers struck. They did not erect picket lines but laid down their tools, refusing to give up their employers’ property. Last revised by Kehaulani Kay, Alexandria, Egypt. [2]
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A newspaper reporter in 1937 described the assembly of automobiles at a General Motors plant. This is one part of the plant the had reporter seen “thousands of men working, but not moving back and forth.” Each worker stood in one spot adding one small part to an auto While the body moved slowly past him, it was moving on an assembly line. The reporter wrote that he performs the exact same task every day, night and week throughout the year. The reporter said that the men were “running along the assembly line for twenty feet, fixing something, trimming a car’s fenders, painting a part or doing their own thing.” The men seem to play with strings, as though a gigantic monster is ripping them apart to get to work on another car. [3]
Cammie Grayson ohiohistorycentral.org This provides us with more insight. A sit-down strike was a method of striking workers in Akron (Ohio) in 1935. Workers would often leave work to strike. Company owners often hired “scab” laborers to cross the picket lines and continue production. Striking workers had difficulty obtaining their demands because of the use of scab labor. Instead, in a sit down strike workers quit work but still retained their positions within the factory. The factory owners couldn’t send more workers because of this process. Factory management also resisted the use of private security forces and other strikebreakers in an attempt to intimidate striking workers. This approach could have resulted in plant property being destroyed. Sean Rogers, Kigali (Rwanda), July 31, 2020. [4]

Refer to the Article

  1. https://guides.loc.gov/this-month-in-business-history/february/flint-michigan-sit-down-strike
  2. https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/united-states-and-canada/us-history/sit-down-strikes
  3. https://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-1-4-a-sit-down-strike.html
  4. https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Sit-down_Strikes
Mehreen Alberts

Written by Mehreen Alberts

I'm a creative writer who has found the love of writing once more. I've been writing since I was five years old and it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. From topics that are close to my heart to everything else imaginable!

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