United Auto Workers’ sit-down strike

By Sheldon Dick, Flint, Michigan, January 1937

“Sit-down” strikes were a crucial tactic in the United Auto Workers’ (UAW) drive to organize General Motors. On December 30, 1936, workers sympathetic to the union seized control of a key point in the auto manufacturing process, Fisher Body Plant Number One, stopped production, and occupied the plant. The tactic soon spread to other plants, and after 44 days, General Motors recognized the UAW as the exclusive bargaining agent for the striking workers.

National Archives, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library