1937 : GM President Says Striking Workers Are To Blame for Flint Sit-Down Strike

January 27, 2023 all-day

With the Sit-Down Strike of 1936-37 four weeks old and workers refusing to leave General Motors’ Fisher Body plants, GM President Alfred P. Sloan took his case directly to employees 75 years ago today.

In a full-page Flint Journal advertisement on Jan. 27, 1937, Sloan said the company had “earnestly striven to do everything possible to develop negotiations with the group that has attacked us” and said idled workers had been “deprived of the right to work by a small minority who have seized certain plants and are holding them as ransom to enforce their demands.”

Fifteen days after Sloan’s message appeared in The Journal, GM and the UAW signed the first agreement between the two parties, and the company recognized the union as the collective bargaining agency for workers.

Source : Ron Fonger, “75 years ago today, Alfred P. Sloan Jr. told GM workers, ‘We refuse to negotiate’ with Sit-Down strikers”, Flint Journal via MLive, January 27, 2012.

The Flint Sit-Down Strike Audio Gallery, 1936-37