On Thursday, January 30, the Genesee County Historical Society presents “Sit-down to Shut down: The 84-Year War Between General Motors and the UAW” from 7:30-8:30pm at UM-Flint’s Francis Willson Thompson Library. Admission is free but seating is limited. Please RSVP by calling 810.410. 4605.
This presentation examines the eight-decade war between General Motors and the UAW and explores its ongoing cultural ramifications. When Billy Durant created General Motors, it brought about a new way of life for thousands of immigrants, transients and occupants of Flint. However, that shared equity was lost to a degree when Durant was ousted by the firm. When the depression hit in the early thirties, GM workers began to become universally frustrated. This opened the way for the monumental Sit-Down Strike of 1936-37, which strengthened by the Wagner Act, established the UAW as a major bargaining force. At the end of WWII, the U.S. began to prosper and the UAW again fought to win its workers their share, creating a new conflict between the GM juggernaut and its workers. The story of the ongoing war between the two entities has always been misunderstood by both sides.
The program is authored and presented by Historical Society Vice President Gary Fisher and makes for a rich experience regardless of whether you are a union member, GM executive or just enjoy the rich history of our city.