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United Automobile Workers

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United Automobile Workers
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Official Site: UAW.org
Wikipedia: United Automobile Workers

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Full Name: The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America

A union of automobile and other factory workers more commonly known as the "UAW."

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's United Automobile Workers page on 21 November 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, better known as the United Automobile Workers (UAW), is an American labor union that represents workers in the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada. Founded as part of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1930s, the UAW grew rapidly from 1936 to the 1950s. Under the leadership of Walter Reuther (president 1946-70) it played a major role in the liberal wing of the Democratic party, including the civil rights and anti-Communist movements. The UAW was especially known for gaining high wages and pensions for the auto workers, but it was unable to unionize auto plants built by foreign-based car-makers in the South after the 1970s, and went into a steady decline in membership — increased automation, decreased use of labor, movements of manufacturing (including reaction to NAFTA), and increased Globalization all were factors.

UAW members in the 21st century work in industries as diverse as autos and auto parts, health care, casino gambling and higher education. Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, the union has more than 400,000 active members and more than 580,000 retired members in over 600 local unions. The UAW currently has 1,150 contracts with some 1,600 employers.

1930's

The UAW was founded in May 1935 in Detroit, Michigan, under the auspices of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) after years of agitation within the labor federation. The AFL had focused on organizing craft unions and avoided large factories. But at its 1935 convention, a caucus of industrial unions led by John L. Lewis formed the Committee for Industrial Organization, the original CIO, within the AFL. Within one year, the AFL suspended the unions in the CIO, and these, including the UAW, formed the rival Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). It attracted young left-wing activists, socialists and Communists, in contrast to the older, established AFL leaders.

The UAW rapidly found success in organizing with the sit-down strike — first in a General Motors plant in Atlanta, Georgia in 1936, and more famously in the Flint sit-down strike that began on December 29, 1936. That strike ended in February 1937 after Michigan's governor Frank Murphy played the role of mediator, negotiating recognition of the UAW by General Motors. The next month, auto workers at Chrysler won recognition of the UAW as their representative in a sit-down strike.

The UAW's next target was the Ford Motor Company, which had long resisted unionization. Ford manager Harry Bennett used brute force to keep the union out of Ford, and his Ford Service Department was set up as an internal security, intimidation, and espionage unit within the company. It was not reluctant to use violence against union organizers and sympathizers (see The Battle of the Overpass). It took until 1941 for Ford to agree to a collective bargaining agreement with the UAW.

Communists provided many of the organizers and took control of key union locals, especially Local 600, which represented the largest Ford plants. The Communist faction controlled some of the key positions in the union, including the directorship of the Washington office, the research department, and the legal office. Walter Reuther, a rising power, at times cooperated closely with the Communists, but Reuther and his allies and the Communists were distinct factions in the UAW. The UAW was one of the first major unions that was willing to organize African-American workers.

The UAW discovered that to be a successful bargaining agency with the corporation it had to be able to uphold its side of the bargain. That meant wildcat strikes and disruptive behavior by union members had to be stopped by the union itself. Many members were extreme individualists who did not like being bossed around either by company foremen, or by union agents; they represented a powerful, albeit poorly organized, "syndicalist" element—democratic, localistic, and oriented to the specific shop-floor. Leaders of the UAW realized they had to control the shop floor, for as Reuther explained in 1939, "We must demonstrate that we are a disciplined, responsible organization; we not only have power, but that we have power under control."


Multimedia



1930's
[Home Movies: United Auto Workers Strikers in Detroit]
Pictures picketing and demonstrations by members of the United Automobile Workers of America in the late 1930s, probably in Michigan.
This film is available courtesy of the Prelinger Archives (public domain).
Download [Home Movies: United Auto Workers Strikers in Detroit] from The Internet Archive - 112MB - 4:47


DateMedia or Collection Name & DetailsFiles
20072007 UAW Bargaining Convention Uncensored
Soldiers of Solidarity

Topic Page
- 1:32:51
24 September 2007Auto Workers Strike Closes GM Factories
Mil Arcega for Voice of America News

Article Page
- 2:08
25 September 2007Analysts Predict Massive Losses for General Motors If Strike Prolonged
Alex Villarreal for Voice of America News

Article Page
- 2:56


Photographs

United Auto Workers Local 1268 Local 1268
Belvidere, Illinois

Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
March 14, 2010
View photo of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1268 Building - 3,318KB


Documents



Article Index

DateFile DescriptionFiles
1 February 1954Letter to Walter Reuther, President, United Automobile Workers, CIO, Concerning Economic Growth and Stability.
To: Walter Reuther, UAW
From: President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Letter
- 1 page
7 December 1965Auto Workers v. Scofield
Supreme Court of the United States
Decision
Text
14 May 2010United States District Court, District of Kansas
AZ Automotive Corp. v. United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union, AFL-CIO and UAW Local 710
Memorandum and Order

PDF
- 122KB - 10 pages
DateArticleAuthor/Source
8 May 1962Address in Atlantic City at the Convention of the United Auto Workers.President John F. Kennedy
23 March 1964Remarks in Atlantic City at the Convention of the United Auto Workers.President Lyndon B. Johnson
20 May 1966Remarks by Telephone to the Convention of the United Automobile Workers.President Lyndon B. Johnson
12 June 1995Remarks to the United Auto Workers ConventionPresident Bill Clinton
21 March 1996Statement on the Tentative Agreement To End the General Motors StrikePresident Bill Clinton
2 November 1996Statement on the Tentative Agreement Between the United Auto Workers and General MotorsPresident Bill Clinton
September 18, 2003GM, UAW Reach Labor AgreementBarry Wood
31 March 2006Auto parts maker Delphi plans to cut 8,500 jobs; union contractsWikinews
19 April 2006Where Would General Motors Be Without the United Automobile Workers Union?George Reisman
22 March 2007UAW Members Fault Union Leaders For ConcessionsAnthony Fontanelle
29 March 2007“Strike Was Not Out Of The Question” - GettelfingerAnthony Fontanelle
25 April 2007UAW Member Perks SlashedAnthony Fontanelle
29 May 2007GM, Delphi Nearing Pact With UAWAnthony Fontanelle
18 June 2007Delphi, GM And UAW Nearing Wages PactAnthony Fontanelle
20 June 2007Delphi, UAW Close To Reaching AgreementAnthony Fontanelle
27 June 2007Delphi, UAW Agree On Wage CutsAnthony Fontanelle
27 June 2007UAW To Push Delphi Wage DealAnthony Fontanelle
28 June 2007Workers Say UAW Got Best DealAnthony Fontanelle
24 July 2007Delphi Labor Pact Gets OKAnthony Fontanelle
25 July 2007What Will Surface At The Bargaining Table?Anthony Fontanelle
24 September 2007Auto Workers Strike Closes GM Factories Mil Arcega
24 September 2007Edwards Statement In Support Of Striking UAW MembersSenator John Edwards
24 September 2007Governor Bill Richardson Statement in Support of Strike by United Auto WorkersGovernor Bill Richardson
24 September 2007Obama Statement on UAW StrikeSenator Barack Obama
24 September 2007Sindicato de General Motors anuncia huelga inminente Wikinoticias
25 September 2007Analysts Predict Massive Losses for General Motors If Strike Prolonged Alex Villarreal
25 September 2007Hillary Clinton Statement On UAW StrikeSenator Hillary Clinton
26 September 2007Edwards Statement On Tentative Agreement Between The U.A.W. And G.M.Senator John Edwards
26 September 2007Union Reaches Deal with Largest US Automaker Alex Villarreal
4 October 2007GM-UAW Agreement A Blow To CAWAnthony Fontanelle
10 October 2007Chrysler Auto Workers Begin StrikeVOA News
10 October 2007Edwards Statement In Support Of Striking Chrysler AutoworkersSenator John Edwards
13 November 2007Remarks to the United Auto Workers Conference in Dubuque, IowaSenator Barack Obama
13 November 2007UAW-Dodge Members Aid Wild Fire VictimsAnthony Fontanelle
25 October 2010United Auto Workers Local 1999, Oklahoma City, OK; Notice of Negative Determination Regarding Application for ReconsiderationFederal Register: DoL (Del Min Amy Chen)
12 January 2011UAW-Chrysler National Training Center Technology Training Joint Programs Staff, Detroit, MI; UAW-Chrysler Technical Training Center Technology Training Joint Programs Staff, Warren, MI; Notice of Revised Determination on ReconsiderationDel Min Amy Chen
18 April 2011Former Union Official Sentenced in Improper Payments SchemeU.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York
27 May 2011Amended Revised Determination on Reconsideration: UAW-Chrysler Technical Training Center, Technology Training Joint Programs Staff Including On-Site Leased Workers from Manpower, Detroit, Michigan; UAW-Chrysler Technical Training Center, Technology Training Joint Programs Staff, Including On-Site Leased Workers from Manpower, Warren, MichiganFederal Register: DoL (Del Min Amy Chen)
17 September 2011GM, UAW Agree on New ContractVOA Breaking News
23 September 2011US Automakers Haggling With UnionVOA Breaking News
28 September 2011Union Approves Labor Pact With General MotorsVOA Breaking News
12 October 2011US Auto Maker Chrysler Reaches Labor DealVOA Breaking News
19 December 2011Two Former Leaders of the United Auto Workers Sentenced to Prison for Extorting General MotorsU.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan
15 February 2012Mitt Romney to UAW Boss Bob King: I Won't Give in to the UAWGovernor Mitt Romney
28 February 2012Remarks to the United Auto Workers ConventionPresident Barack Obama


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