FLINT, Mich. (WXYZ) — Eighty-five years ago today, the Flint sit-down strike occurred. The strike started in late Dec. 1936 and ended on Feb. 11, 1937 - lasting 44 days.
Today we know it as National White Shirt Day, acknowledging the impact of the union in the auto industry.
According to history.com, the autoworkers at the time were striking to earn the recognition of the UAW as the only agent for General Motors. The strikers wanted GM to stop sending work to plants that were not unionized and wanted a fair wage. This is when the UAW and GM administrated their first contract with each other.
On #NationalWhiteShirtDay, we honor the @UAW founding members who secured protections for auto workers for generations to come. As governor, I’ll continue to fight alongside working people, for working people, ensuring they’re treated with dignity and respect.
— Gretchen Whitmer (@gretchenwhitmer) February 11, 2022
The UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said in a video announcement Friday that this was one of the most significant victories in the union history by gaining a contract with General Motors Co.
A member from UAW Local 598, based out of Flint, initiated the national day in 1948.