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This Day In Market History: GM Signs Auto's First Union Contract

This Day In Market History: GM Signs Auto's First Union Contract

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened

On Feb. 11, 1937, General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) quelled a six-week workers strike by signing the industry’s first union contract.

Where The Market Was

The S&P 500 traded in the low $18s, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded around $3,337.

What Else Was Going On In The World

Over the next week, the Rams developed an NFL franchise in Cleveland, and DuPont Corp patented nylon. The U.S. Presidential Inauguration day had moved from March to January that year.

GM Validates The UAW

After a six-week sit-down strike at Flint’s Fisher Body Plant No. 2, the United Auto Workers finally pressured cooperation. GM president Alfred P. Sloan signed the auto industry’s first union contract, which granted assembly workers improved labor conditions and job security. It also awarded the UAW sole bargaining rights on behalf of the factory workforce.

Prior to the settlement, management had planned to wait out the strike. Local police had shut off the factory heat and prevented outsiders from delivering food to protesters. An ensuing riot injured both strikers and police officers, prompting the Michigan governor to surround the plant with National Guardsmen.

The protesters garnered nationwide sympathy and ultimately inspired intervention by President Franklin Roosevelt. Their ultimate victory led to UAW representation at both Chrysler and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F).

Related Links:

This Day In Market History: First US Auto Race Proves The Worth Of Horseless Buggies

This Day In Market History: The First Ford Model T Leaves Detroit Plant

Posted-In: this day in market historyEducation Top Stories Markets General Best of Benzinga


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