Saturday, June 13, 2009

When General Motors Ruled The World - Part III

General Motors was formed in 1908 by William Durant, when he incorporated the Buick Motor Company. Later that year, Oldsmobile becomes the second company to join General Motors. In 1909, General Motors purchased a 50% interest in the Oakland Motor Car Company, which later became known as Pontiac. In 1909, General Motors bought Cadillac for $5.5 million. This is a photographic tribute to this iconic American institution.

In 1936 and 1937 the United Auto Workers (UAW)attempted to organize the labor force at General Motors. This strike later became known as the "Flint sit down strike," where workers occupied the large General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan.

The strike spread to other plants and in February 1937, General Motors capitulated and recognized the UAW as the exclusive bargaining representative of workers in the union.

The first three pictures below are of John L. Lewis, and other labor leaders discussing the strike in January 1937 in Washington, DC.

Did the union victory in 1937 plant the seeds of the eventual destruction of General Motors? These men had no way of knowing, obviously, and were just fighting for basic rights that we take for granted. It certainly is not fair to blame the union for all of the ills of General Motors, as management made its share of bad decisions.

The final picture is the management of General Motors, including Alfred Sloan, discussing the strike with the Governor of Michigan and the U.S. Secretary of Labor. The management of General Motors refused to even sit in the same room with the Union leaders and all negotiations had to be done through intermediaries.

1 comment:

Trading Stock Market said...

GM is a "big and fat old animal" that is too slow. In addition union is the biggest cancer in this company...