80th Anniversary Of The Flint Sit Down Strike








Today we celebrate the 80th anniversary of February 11, 1937. It all began on January 31, 1936, and continued as an often bloody sit-down strike in Flint, Michigan, until it ended with the first union agreement between the United Autoworkers (UAW) and General Motors on February 11, 1936.  UAW Local Union 659 was born out of that strike, and its hall became known as “The Pioneer Hall Of The UAW”. Later, on February 11, 1948 Bert Christenson, a member of UAW Local 598 (A sister Local Union in Flint), initiated National White Shirt/White T-shirt Day. The wearing of a white shirt was to send a message to management – who all wore white shirts every day – that we workers were every bit as good as they are. This manufacturing plant, and the “Pioneer Hall” is the root of our great union.


Unfortunately… Today, there is not a brick left standing of that entire 78 acre manufacturing complex, and the “Pioneer Hall” has been sold by the IUAW, and is currently a head shop. What a shameful mindset. In nature the analogy would be; “If you can kill the root, you can kill the tree”. In real life the analogy would be; “If you can kill its root, you can kill the Union.” Please never let us forget, deny or forsake our roots, and always strive to keep our union ALIVE and WELL!


The Author – Leroy McKnight – hired into the plant where the sit-down initiated, and today all that remains is the Michigan Historical Marker – designating the site of the Flint Sit-Down Strike. The marker is located on the northwest intersection Chevrolet Avenue, and the Flint River. Later the plant was known as “Chevy – Down In The Hole”. Brother McKnight’s first job station was about 70 feet to the northwest of the Historical Marker.

From TEAM Workin 4 A Livin – Caucus

For more information about other labor issues visit Workin 4 A Livin.

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