Skip to main content

p16210coll3

About this collection

The General Motors Corporation Sit-Down Strike that occurred in Flint, Michigan, during the winter of 1936-1937 was a pivotal moment in American labor history. It certainly remains the most important event in the history of Flint.  Although some of the influential figures in the strike had been interviewed in the 1960s, some in conjunction with Sidney Fine's research for his book Sit-Down, most of the memories of the strike were kept by a dwindling number of its veterans.  In 1978, Neil Leighton, of the Department of Political Science of University of Michigan-Flint, in association with Kenneth B. West, of the Department of History, and William Meyer, of the Department of Political Science, and others, including students, began an oral history project that lasted for about ten years.  The project interviewed over 170 people.  These included labor organizers and strike leaders, rank-and-file workers with varying degrees of support for unionization, radicals, community members, policemen, National Guardsmen, and others.  Although the subjects of the interviews vary, they generally cover the interviewee's personal and work histories, exposure to labor unions, working conditions before and after the Strike, the Strike itself, and UAW politics after the Strike.  Other interviews may include such topics as migration to Flint, W.P.A., C.C.C., and other Depression-era work programs, Masonic/Catholic favoritism, preference of hiring outsiders to local people.  In total, they cover the history of Flint's working class during the first half of the 20th century.  Most of the interviews have been transcribed, and the transcriptions are searchable by keyword.

 
Select the collections to add or remove from your search
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
 
OK