Sit-down is a historical non-fiction book. It depicts the events of the
1936-1937 strike at General Motors plants in Flint and around the country.
The author of this book is Sidney Fine. In this report you will learn what I
learned about the struggle between Corporations and the beginning of
Sit-down is about the General Motors Sit-down strike of 1936-1937.
This strike was mainly about the right for workers to represent themselves
through collective bargaining. The union supporters went through a long,
inhumane and bloody fight. hey finally won the fight on February, 11 1937.
On this day General Motors recognized the United Auto Workers as the
collective-bargaining agency for their employees.
The 4 main characters involved with the strike are GM President
Alfred Sloan Jr., executive Vice President Willam Knudsen, U.A.W.
President Homer Martin and the Governor of Michigan, Frank Murphy.
Sloan and Knudsen represented the GM stock holders and the interest of
management. They did not want collective bargaining because it would take
power away from management. Martin represented the working people on
GM assembly lines and all auto workers in the United States of America.
Governor Murphys role was to mediate, but he was on General Motors side.
He insisted that the sit-downers get basic human rights such as food, heat,
and water. Murphy also controlled the police and National Guard. They shot
and killed several strikers. After it was all over Martin and the United Auto
workers emerged victorious.
The strike started in Flint on December 30,1936. The GM factories
were described as a mess, because of the lack of sanitation. There was also
spare parts and other miscellaneous weapons used against the cops in the
Battle of the Running Bulls laying around in Flint factories everywhere. In
fact the conditions in the factories were all out nasty. I would not want to live
there for a month and a half. On February 11 1937 GM and the U.A.W.
struck a deal at the state capital building in Lansing .
This stories Characteristics are kind of strange because it does
not go in chronological order. It starts out with The Battle of the Running
Bulls. Which is actually at the end of the strike. Then it goes on to describe
different aspects of the strike. Such as the corporation, the workers,
Strategys and Tactics of GM and the U.A.W. Next the book talks about the
settlement and the aftermath. In general the beginning and the end of the book
was interesting and to the point. The middle of the book was filled with way
too much detail and it was hard follow.
While reading this book I learned an important aspect of life. The main
conflict in this book was the struggle between common people who just
wanted a voice in the work place. Against a big corporation who wanted all
of the power. I learned from this conflict that if you are morally right and you
stand up for what you believe in, it does not matter what the odds are against
you. You will succeed eventually!