80th Anniversary of Strike at General Motors Plant, Flint, Michigan
Today, December 30, is the 80th anniversary of the start of the strike at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant, Flint, Michigan.
exhibition of prints and drawings, Work on Paper, on view through January 29,
2017, was organized by Tracee Glab, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, in
recognition of the 80th anniversary of the forty-four-day strike at
the General Motors Plant that began on December 30, 1936.
Lynd Ward, From Wild Pilgrimage, 1932
similar strikes in Europe, this was one of the nation’s first sit-down strikes.
It was strategically important because that facility contained one of only two
“body dies” that GM used for almost all of its 1937 models, of which 50,000
were produced in December and 125 in February. The management charged the workers
with trespassing, shut off the heat, and tried to curtail access to food.
However there was no use of the National Guard because Governor Frank Murphy
believed that would favor one side over another in a legal dispute and also
would lead to extensive bloodshed. After about six weeks, when General Motors
agreed to recognize the United Auto Workers, the laborers not only received a
5% raise, but the right to speak in the lunchroom.
The Susan Teller Gallery began in 1988. In March, 2015, we made the move to private dealership.
The focus of the gallery is American paintings, prints, and unique works on paper, of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, including the New Deal-WPA Era, Urban and Industrial Realism, Modernism, and Surrealism.