UAW workers remember White Shirt Day - WNEM TV 5

UAW workers remember White Shirt Day

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

UAW workers are celebrating White Shirt Day where in 1936, about 700 General Motors employees struck for better working conditions.

This year's white shirt day comes at a bad time, after GM recently announced that it will close Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center and Delphi Flint East.

UAW workers are gathering at Local 659 off Van Slyke Road in Flint.

The famous Sit-Down Strike started Dec. 30, 1936, when workers locked themselves inside the Fisher 2 plant. It later spread to other GM facilities in the area. The strike came to an end Feb. 11, 1937, when the automaker finally agreed to recognize the union as the bargaining representative for the hourly employees.

White Shirt Day was started in 1948. It is a day when workers wear white shirts to send the message that blue-collar workers deserve the same respect as management.

The white shirts are worn as a way to honor those Flint strikers who became the bargaining agent in negotiations with GM. The strike lasted 44 days.

The strike was intended to send a message to management that "blue collar" workers had earned the right to the same respect as their management counterparts, according to UAW officials. As a result - Local 598 was born.

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