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Jerry Kirk

Flint UAW Locals Accept
GM Contract with Reservations

(19 March 1946)

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 13, 30 March 1946, p. 8.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

FLINT, Mich., March 19 – All GM locals here have overwhelmingly accepted the new contract negotiated between the CIO United Automobile Workers and General Motors Corporation.

However, while accepting the national contract by a 40 to 1 margin, the members of Buick local 599 voted 2,767 to 1,510 to continue the strike until local demands were settled. This demonstration of the fighting power and stamina of the GM workers was expressed at the largest mass meeting in the history of the Buick local. Over 9,000 of the 15,000 members attended

Art Case, acting chairman of the Buick Bargaining Committee, informed this reporter that:

“... the membership showed in this meeting that they are solidly behind us. We have a dozen demands that have to be settled. We want the elimination of the reprimand system, reinstatement of workers fired during the war for union activity, elimination of piece-work in the foundry. These are the most important demands.”

At the Buick membership meeting the local leadership came in unitedly with the proposal to continue the strike until agreement had been reached. This has been backed up by the largest picket lines around the 15 gates of the Buick plant since the beginning of the strike.

Chevrolet Returns

Chevrolet local 659 voted to return to work despite the fact that some of the leaders of the local had asked the membership to continue the strike on, the basis of the local demands.

Both Chevrolet and Buick Locals here submitted resolutions to the UAW convention in support of the immediate formation of a Labor Party.

The GM workers are returning to work with renewed confidence in their power which was tested time and again during the 118 day strike. Hundreds of new leaders rose up from the ranks and thousands of workers participated in union activities for the first time. This is a good omen for the future.

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