March 12, 2015
5 largest manufacturing strikes in United Automotive Workers history
American made is almost an anachronism now, but good manufacturing jobs drove America’s post-war economic golden age. Fifty years ago, if you held a job on a line, you were most likely a member of a union. And no union was more powerful than the United Auto Workers. Before the slow decline in membership started in the 1970s, the UAW had over 1.5 million members and represented workers from the insurance industry to aerospace and defense.
The UAW isn’t the powerhouse it once was. Today, just fewer than 400,000 workers hold membership in the UAW. Unions are sometimes blamed for the decline of American manufacturing, as companies have spent the last 30 years outsourcing their needs to countries with cheap labor and fewer requirements for the health and safety of their workers. Unions formed out of a desire to protect workers from dangerous conditions and abject poverty once their physical abilities were used up on the line; woes that manufacturers now outsource to poorer countries, along with the jobs.
1970 Chrysler strike