Labor history: U.S. autoworkers and the Soviet Union

In 1929, Ford Motors signed a “technical assistance” contract with the Soviet Union. The American automaker agreed to furnish the USSR with plans and expert assistance in building a plant that would manufacture 100,000 automobiles each year. In return, the Soviets would buy 72,000 vehicles from Ford, as well as all repair parts.

200 Soviets came to the United States for training, and Ford sent teams of experts and autoworkers to the Soviet Union for training. Included on the trip was Walter Reuther, who later became president of the United Auto Workers. Reuther later went on to become a Cold Warrior.

Photo via Walter P. Reuther Library.



PW Editorial Board
PW Editorial Board

People’s World editorial board: Editor-in-Chief John Wojcik,  Managing Editor C.J. Atkins, Copy Editor Eric A. Gordon, Washington D.C. Bureau Chief Mark Gruenberg, Social Media Editor Chauncey K. Robinson, Senior Editor Roberta Wood, Senior Editor Joe Sims