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Sit-Down: The General Motors Strike of 1936-1937
by Sidney Fine
University of Michigan Press
eISBN: 978-0-472-12716-0 | Paper: 978-0-472-03784-1

In this classic study, Sidney Fine portrays the dramatic events of the 1936–37 Flint Sit-down Strike against General Motors, which catapulted the UAW into prominence and touched off a wave of sit-down strikes across the United States. Basing his account on an impressive variety of manuscript sources, Fine analyzes the strategy and tactics of GM and the UAW, describes the life of the workers in the occupied plants, and examines the troubled governmental and public reaction to the alleged breakdown of law and order in the strikes. In addition, Fine provides vivid portraits of the major figures on both sides of the conflict: Governor Frank Murphy, Alfred Sloan, Jr., William Knudsen, Robert Travis, Roy, Victor, and Walter Reuther, Homer Martin, and Wyndham Mortimer. The GM sit-down strike marks the close of one era of labor-management relations in the United States and the beginning of another. A half century after its initial publication, Fine’s work remains the definitive account of that momentous conflict. A new foreword by Kim Moody’s revisits Sit-Down in order to demonstrate its continued relevance to today’s unions, workers, and activists.

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