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Marking the end of the Flint Sit Down Strike

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
Surviving Flint Sit Down Strikers John Briggs (left) and James Todd (center) talk with one of the people who attended Friday's celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end of the sit down strike

Saturday marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Flint Sit Down Strike.   

Hundreds of UAW members gathered in Flint today to commemorate the pivotal moment in the history of the union movement.   

Union members honored in song the six surviving sit down strikers and women’s brigade members who gathered to mark the anniversary of the strike that many say legitimized the United Auto Workers union.

Art Reyes is the president of UAW local 651.   He says the surviving sit-down strikers are an inspiration.

“It’s hard not to tear up when you see them.  Hear them talk about the things they went through.   And their opinions about things that have happened since," says Reyes.

The sit down strike lead to improved working conditions in factories and improved wages and benefits.

Several speakers urged the crowd to follow in the footsteps of the sit down strikers and rally for social justice, as well as for Democrats in this fall’s elections.


Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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