Site Map Icon
RSS Feed icon
Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
February 17, 2019
Vice President Steve Delaney
Updated On: Dec 19, 2018

December 2018

Before the “Sit Down” strike of 1937, when GM finally recognized the UAW, there were some noteworthy events that paved the way to unionization and collective bargaining. In 1935, the First Constitutional Convention of the United Automobile Worker was held the same day President Franklin Delano Roosevelt formed and appointed three members to the National Labor Relations Board. The National Labor Relations Act had been passed by Congress to further collective bargaining. The primary objective of that Act was to prohibit employers from interfering with the self-organization of their employees.
Meanwhile, back at the first Constitutional Convention, there was an address by Mr. Charlton Ogburn Attorney and Counselor at Law. He told the attendees that he felt there was no greater labor problem in the United States than the one in the automobile industry. He encouraged the assembly to choose their representatives wisely. He said this was because the selection of representatives for collective bargaining was the first step. The last step was the signing of a contract. He told of an example he used while making an argument before the National Labor Relations Board. He referred to the selection of representatives for collective bargaining as comparable, for instance, to the selection by two countries of representatives that fix a border dispute. For example, long ago there was such a dispute between the United States and Mexico as to what was the proper boundary. A conference was held and the United States went with a commission appointed to represent it. The commission was fixed in their mind where that boundary should be. On the other hand, Mexico was not sure. One party in Mexico wanted one boundary. Another party wanted something else. The contesting groups in Mexico each sent their own commission.  The disadvantage the Mexicans had was because the United Sates was unified and had their mind made up where the boundary should be.
Similarly, the automobile manufacturers went on record as saying they do not want the automobile industry organized. They had, however, created in the automobile industry, “company unions.” Therefore, there was a battle looming between the industry and the workers. Industry, it seems, fully realized what all commanders in warfare in the past have realized, as Napoleon well illustrated in his campaigns, that the way to defeat an enemy was to divide that enemy into various groups.
The workers will not succeed in collective bargaining until they can present a unified front and sit on the same side of the table, where-as the management will be on the other side of the table.
It is amazing how this message from 83 years ago is still relevant today.
I would like to wish everyone a joyous and safe Holiday. In Solidarity, God bless you all.

More Information:
Archived Articles for Steve Delaney
Lansing Labor News
Copyright © 2019, All Rights Reserved.
Powered By UnionActive™

7454 hits since Nov 09, 2018

Top of Page image