Post number 40, UAW 933, UAW History Highlights

Robert Boone, UAW 933, February 2015

UAW 933, UAW History Highlights

May 1, 1936
UAW’s second convention at South Bend, Ind., wins autonomy from AFL, creates quarter-million-dollar organizing fund, and elects Homer Martin president and George Addes secretary-treasurer.

June, 1936
UAW members at Atlanta, Ga., GM plant, begin brief sit-down.

Nov. 17, 1936
First major UAW sit-down strike at Bendix Corp. in South Bend, Ind.

December, 1936
Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Co. workers strike wins UAW recognition.

Dec. 30, 1936
UAW launches historic Flint, Michigan sit-down strike at General Motors; spreads throughout U.S. and Canada.

Feb. 11, 1937
UAW ends Flint sit-down after GM agrees to negotiate with union.

Feb., 1937
First UAW agricultural-implement contract negotiated with J I Case, after 15-week strike.

March 7, 1937
Chrysler workers begin sit-down strike to win recognition of UAW as their bargaining agent.

March-April, 1937
Sit-down strikes sweep plants in many areas as drive for union – recognition picks up in many industries.

March, 1937
UAW recognized at North American Aviation, now Rockwell Int.

May 27, 1937
Battle of the Overpass: on May 27 Ford Service Dept. thugs beat up UAW organizers Walter Reuther, J. J. Kennedy, Richard Frankensteen, Bob Kanter, and members of the women’s auxiliary to try to stop them from handing out leaflets at plant gate.

Nov. 14, 1938
Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) founded.

March 27, 1939
R. J. Thomas elected UAW’s third president at convention in Cleveland. Later, former President Homer Martin takes small faction of union back into AFL.

August 6, 1939
UAW wins “strategy strike” led by skilled-trades workers at key GM facilities. Company recognizes UAW’s right to bargain for GM workers, establishes seniority rights, and lays ground-work for apprenticeship program.

October, 1939
UAW strikes Chrysler after company locks out workers at Dodge Main plant in Detroit. Union wins right to negotiate production standards and arbitration of grievances.

UAW campaign to organize agricultural-implement workers moves forward, with major election victory at International Harvester. Ft. Wayne, Ind.

June 24, 1940
UAW wins first paid vacation in negotiations with GM. Workers with one year’s seniority receive 40 hours of vacation pay per year.

June 20, 1941
UAW wins union shop, dues check off, and grievance procedures in first contract with Ford Motor Co., after winning strike and representation election with 70% majority.

July 31, 1941
UAW charters first white-collar local, International Officer Workers Local 889.

Dec. 8, 1941
UAW Int’l Executive Board adopts no-strike pledge after war breaks out between the U.S. and Japan: later reaffirmed by membership poll.

Union wins doubling of paid vacation time for workers with five years’ seniority in negotiations with GM Contract also provides 4 cents-per-hour pay increase with 6 cents additional for tool-and-die and some maintenance classifications.

Federal government establishes War production Board Labor Division. UAW Pres. R. J. Thomas serves on Board and activist Roy Reuther serves as information specialist.

R. J. Thomas arrested after making a speech in Texas in violation of law requiring union organizers to register with police. Law later declared invalid

UAW urges peaceful integration of aircraft line at Packard Motors Car Co., after Ku Klux Klan tries to inflame white workers against blacks.

Feb. 28, 1944
UAW’s first National Aircraft Conference plans for conversion from wartime to peacetime aircraft production.

First UAW Women’s Conference calls for full employment and equal pay for women.

First conference of UAW Veterans, Bureau and formulates a program for returning GIs.

UAW strikes Ford of Canada for 99 days, winning Rand Formula for union security.

Union strikes General Motors for 113 days demanding postwar wage increase. Contract provides 18 cents an hour in wage increases; dues check-off other gains.

Walter Reuther elected fourth UAW President.

UAW establishes Agricultural-Implements Dept.

Six paid holidays established in GM contract, setting pattern for other companies.

UAW wins first Annual Improvement Factor (AIF) raise, recognizing workers’ contribution to regular productivity increases, and Cost-of-Living-Allowance (COLA) at General Motors.

Workers trying to make things better for all, fight, get beat half to death, jailed and even die, to acquire such benefits as COLA. The benefit propelled industrial workers in the Auto industry to the highest paid in any factory setting. Today bargaining committees seem to give principal items away as though it was no different than a Christmas bonus, holidays, health care, or work rules by the baskets full.

First contract negotiated with Caterpillar Tractor.

First employer-paid and jointly administered pension program won by UAW at Ford Motor Co.

UAW urges auto industry to design and build “A Motor Car Named Desire.” a new small car to open up market to more working people.

Chrysler workers win pensions, following 104-day strike under slogan, “Too Old to Work. Too Young To Die.”

UAW wins union shop at GM

UAW wins first (partially) paid hospitalization and medical program at GM.

Never required to pay premiums on health from 1965 until I retired in 2004, concessions took away that luxury also.

UAW wins first Supplemental Unemployment Benefits. At Ford first in the industry as part of an effort to win a guaranteed annual wage for workers.

UAW wins fully paid hospitalization and sick benefits. No discrimination clause at GM.

UAW wins profit-sharing formula in negotiations “with American Motors Corp.
Walter stated that programs that induced one worker to squeal on another for leaving the plant with a shop rag in his pocket, were not the type of program unions should attempt to negotiate for the benefits of the memberships. 

Bereavement pay first negotiated at Allis-Chalmers.

UAW joins March on Washington; lobbies for Civil rights law.

Union negotiates early retirement program at International Harvester and paid Absence Allowance (PAA) at caterpillar.

Fully-paid hospitalization, surgical, and medical won for retirees

Wage parity (equality) won for Canadian and U.S. workers in Chrysler.

First dental insurance won at International Harvester.

Walter and May Reuther die in tragic plane crash Leonard Woodcock named UAW’s fifth president.

UAW wins “30-and-Out’ early, retirement program. Uncapped COLA. Up to four-weeks of paid Vacation and other gains following 10-week strike at GM.

And in 1971 through the PPG decision managements are no longer require to bargaining to impasse concerning current retirees with the union. So in todays concessionary phase who can afford to use the benefit.

“30 and Out” extended to cover Chrysler workers.

UAW Health and Safety committees established.

And we later lost all muscle from the process when the right to strike was conceded, and all complaints are resolved through the grievance procedure rather than the 5-day process.

UAW Attendance Bonus won in agricultural-implement contracts.

Paid Personal Holidays (PPH) pattern set at Ford in efforts to reduce work time and create more employment. 

The move WAS on for a four (4) day (8) hour work week. Concessions have long caused that dream some had, to bite that dust. All days off PPH, shut down summer vacation, gone for most all of us today.

Douglas Fraser succeeds Leonard Woodcock as UAW President.

Paid education leave won in Canada.

Volkswagen of America workers Vote to join UAW.

Union agrees to concessions to help save Chrysler from bankruptcy.

For first time, workers win representation on Chrysler Board of Directors as UAW President Fraser takes seat.

Ray Majerus elected UAW Secretary-Treasurer, succeeding Emil Mazey.

Thousands of UAW members join a half million demonstrators at Solidarity Day in Washington, D. C.


UAW wins profit-sharing, Guaranteed Income Stream (GIS), moratorium on plant-closings, and company-funded training/retraining programs at GM and Ford.
After the replacement of Walter!

Canadian Chrysler workers strike for 10 weeks. U.S. and Canadian bargaining teams reach simultaneous agreement with Chrysler – contract is ratified and includes AIF, recovery in COLA, improvements in stock-ownership plan, and improved job-security provisions.

Owen Bieber elected UAW’s seventh president, succeeding Douglas Fraser.

UAW joins Solidarity Day demonstrations in cities throughout U.S., and participates in March on Washington recalling Civil Rights March of 1963.

GM contract sets new job-security pattern: eligible workers with one year or more seniority to be offered “jobs bank” instead of layoff. GM and Ford agree to build new small cars in U.S. and set up venture capital fund to create new jobs.

UAW reinstates Annual Improvement Factor in Chrysler contract, following strike.

UAW opens year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary.

Not much, if anything to brag about after the 80’s insofar as permanent gains for the members, usually performance bonus, bonus to sell health care, bonus to sellout COLA, bonus seems to by a bunch of benefits and work rules for the managements these days, so bragging will return when our base pay raises, time off with pay, COLA and health care RETURNS.

Reuther was the only leader I ever had the honor of listening to that could hold the attention of thousand of radical Union leaders, and while doing so he would reminisce about the future of working folks for hours. Although a Vice President, “Irving Bluestone”, serving with Walter, came in a close second.

From 1937 to 1941, the UAW had brought almost all the autoworkers in the United States and Canada into the UAW under labor contracts..

Hope you enjoyed the read on the past achievements of us working folks; kind of wish we were such progress today!!

Dad always said;

A real rep chooses to state “they can’t do that” and finds a ways to prove it, rather than stating “they can do that” and walk away.

To be number 1 you are odd.

When I shut my month and walk away, it doesn’t mean you have won. It means you aren’t worth any more of my time.

Being officers and reps is supposed to be hard, if it weren’t, everybody would be doing it. The hard is what makes it great.