Autolite Strike 1934 Essay Research Paper Strikes

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Autolite Strike 1934 Essay, Research Paper Strikes were common place in the early 1930 s in all industrial and manufacturing corporations. They were used to win power away from the corporate giants, and put it in the hands of the working class. Labor used strikes for a variety of reasons, some for higher wages, some for working conditions, some for safety on the job, and still others for recognition. In a book entitled, I Remember Like Today: The Auto-Lite Strike of 1934 Philip A. Korth and Margaret R. Beegle compile an oral history account of this fight for the rights of the working class. To gain the knowledge acquired for this book, the authors searched high and low to find the living survivors of this turning point for organized labor in Toledo. After discovering the

individuals who could help, the investigators interviewed and then recorded the men and women s accounts of the strike. Then they transcribed the interviews verbatim. This method provides for a more personal approach to learning what had happened in the strike. It allows the reader to see what actually happen through the eyes of the ones involved. The book is a collection statements, stories, and feelings of the men and women involved in the strike. Each individual tells their story based on headings, and that is what complied the chapters. In this method, the reader gets to hear all sides of the story because Korth and Beegle get some who were union supports, union organizers, some who were strike breakers, management. Certainly no critic can say, this book only tells one side

of the story. All of the forth-coming events, activities, and problems took place in Toledo, Ohio at the Electric Auto-Lite Company. The Electric Auto-Lite Company was a part of the automotive assembly industry. It used mainly unskilled workers to operate the machinery, and the machinery was that which possessed the skill. There were two separate strikes at Auto-Lite. The first was used to force the company into recognizing the union; that was the first step towards collective bargaining recognition. It stared on February 23, lasted only four days, and resulted in the reinstatement of the 15 workers who walked out, and an agreement. The workers won the battle but that was a long way from winning the war. Auto-Lite gave the union a 30-day contract, which basically stated the

company would recognize the union for thirty days, but even in that thirty days the company refused to recognize the union as a bargaining representative of the workers. When this thirty days reached its conclusion, the union was no better off then when it started. In fact in those thirty days the company was preparing itself for a strike. They started mass hiring new workers, so they could keep running the company if the labor walked out. The second strike began on April 13, and consisted of some 400 Auto-Lite workers. The strike seemingly divided the work force equally, as many went in as picketed. Then on May 3, a court injunction restricted the number of picketers at one time to a minuscule twenty-five. This rallied the surrounding men and women in the area to unite and break

this injunction that limited all of their freedom. On May 21, 22, and 23 more then 6,000 men and women united in front of Auto-Lite to hear speakers and to protest the company, along with protesting the court injunction. This is when the real trouble started for the company and the picketers. On May 23, A young women by the name of Alma Hand was stuck by a steel bracket which caused a riot among the crowd, and which initiated a raid on the building. The deputies fired tear gas at the would be invaders to stop them from storming the facility. That night a raging crowd refused to allow the scabs off the premises. After this episode, the Ohio National Guard was called in to restore the peace. These guardsmen only worsened the situation. On the next day, May 24, they charged the