Today in labor history: Lansing general strike

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On June 6, 1937. more than 12,000 members of the United Auto Workers, their families and supporters living in Lansing, Michigan, shut down the city.

Earlier that year the workers held a successful sit-down strike at REO Motor Car.

The general strike started after the arrest of nine workers who led organizing at smaller companies, in spite of a court order to stop.

The sheriff cut phone lines and raided leaders' homes in the middle of the night. One of those arrested was the wife of the president of the auto workers union local. Workers were angered to find out that when she was arrested at home three children were left unattended.

Photo: United Auto Workers strike, Lansing, MI, 1937. Ralph W. Lewis photograph collection.

 

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