Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sitdown Strike -- Heritage of Struggle - UAW Education Department 1965

Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

See the end of this post for details on the project.

Leaflet: Sitdown Strike -- Heritage of Struggle - UAW Education Department 1965 

The leaflet we are looking at today was released in the mid 1960s when the American labor and union movement was significantly more powerful than it is today. Produced by the Education Department of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) it was part of a broader series that sought to tell the history of the "Heritage of Struggle" of workers and unions in the United States. 

This one looked at both the terrible reality of oppression and indentured servitude that existed for workers during the early history of the United States and then looks at the Sitdown Strikes of 1936 and 1937. These strikes, despite brutal attempts at repression, were ultimately successful and had a profound and transformational impact on American society and the evolution of industrial unionism. 

As the leaflet notes:
All the gains made by industrial workers date from that year. Time and a half for overtime; for work on the sixth day; double time for Sunday work; call-in pay; paid vacations and holidays; control over speed-up; the right to file a grievance; night shift differentials; pensions; hospital and medical insurance; all -- without exception -- derive from 1937, from the courage of the men who sat down. 
The leaflet also includes international art dedicated to workers and their struggles.

(Click on scans to enlarge)

When The Left Chapter began part of what I wanted to do on the blog was to show and highlight vintage public leftist election/political leaflets and booklets. While many of these have been offered with commentary to date, a very large collection of hundreds of them from several different sources remains and to preserve these often quite rare documents we will be posting them on a regular (almost daily) basis now often without or with minimal commentary so that people may have access to them as quickly as possible as an historical resource. 

While these will all be leaflets from a variety of different leftist viewpoints and countries, they are being posted as an historical/study resource and the views or opinions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or blogger.

All of these posts (as well as posts made to date) will be listed on the page: Vintage Communist/Socialist Leaflets (which is still being updated with past posts).

If you have any public, vintage leaflets or booklets you would like to contribute to this project please contact us via

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