The strike was settled on February 11, 1937. The UAW did not win all of its demands, but gained an agreement from General Motors to recognize the union in the struck plants and to allow the union exclusive rights for six months to organize in the other plants. The company also agreed not to discriminate against the strikers who were returning to work. The lion's share of credit for the final settlement belongs to Governor Frank Murphy and CIO President John L. Lewis. The possibly legendary story goes that Murphy met with Lewis in his Detroit hotel room. When Murphy expressed determination to execute the laws of the State and to evict the strikers, Lewis reminded him that his (Murphy's) father had once been a striking mine worker. Then the union leader asked the Governor what his father would think if he used force to break up the strike. As a result of this conversation, Murphy agreed to let the strikers stay in the plants, which left GM with practically no other choice but to settle.

Larry Jones describes the meeting between Lewis and Murphy on February 9.
Leo Robinson refers to the meeting between Lewis and Murphy.
Joseph Skunda says Murphy was never given enough credit.

The first few weeks after the settlement of the strike brought a predictable chaos to the plants. Since the success of the strike had created an unprecedented situation, nobody had a clear idea of what the new relationship between labor and supervision was supposed to be. Nevertheless, the new union locals got busy electing officers, setting up grievance procedures, and signing up members. Now that the overriding fear of belonging to the union was gone, this last task was relatively easy. Inside the plants, wildcat strikes occurred on a daily basis in various departments until the union disavowed them, and there was also a new, and perhaps ironic, emphasis on ridding the organization of Communist influences. Most importantly, though, some truly dangerous and exploitative working conditions were banned, such as poor ventilation, hazardous machine work, and unpaid overtime. Additionally, wages rose in nearly every department.

Irving King describes the behavior of the workers after going back to work.
Leo Connelly remembers the outbreak of wildcat strikes.
Floyd Root remembers the chaotic relationship between supervision and union leadership after the strike.
Arthur Smith says that after the strike it wasn't hard to sign guys up.
Irving King talks about ridding the new union of Communists.
James Spohn recalls the improved conditions in the paint department immediately after the strike.
Leo Robinson says the strike gave him the chance to get on a desirable shift.
Andrew Olay remembers that there was a more democratic feeling in the plants after the strike.

The United Auto Worker's victory in the Flint Sit-Down Strike did not mean that the union had it easy from then on. The immediate results of the strike were mixed in some quarters, and further strikes were necessary before the fruits of victory could be fully enjoyed. Even in Flint, many individuals would remain ambivalent about the true value and historical importance of the strike. Nevertheless, the true legacy of the 1936-37 sit-down strike is that over the next forty years the UAW won for its membership some of the broadest and most significant benefits of any union in the country: full health coverage, generous pensions, and even 90% pay during lay-offs in some cases. While some may argue that this had the effect of weakening the automobile industry in America, a more persuasive argument would be that it created a model of industrial employment that has been emulated all over the world.

Robert Mamero says that the strike showed the company that men couldn't be treated like dogs.
Irene Mitchell says that young people today "don't know what the older people went through".
Mary Nightengale claims that the union "put the country on its feet".
Laura Hayward discusses all the benefits the union has brought.

National Guard on bridge to Chevrolet complex

Rough map of Chevrolet complex

Governor Frank Murphy talks to the press

Roy Reuther addresses the crowd outside one of the plants

Bud Simons waves from a Fisher 1 window at the end of the strike

Bud Simons inside Fisher 1

Strike leader Bob Travis inside one of the plants

UAW leadership in the midst of negotiations

Sit-downers reading and relaxing

Created with support from the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities