The Flint Sit-Down Strike Audio Presentation

The whole idea of the sit-down was the fact that you were exposed over the usual strike, the strikes were illegal, you couldn't strike in Michigan, you know, so that's one thing... besides that, there is the question of violence. You strike, you have a picket line, they'll break it up for sure, one way or another, and arrest people and there'll be all kinds of ultimata and this and that and the other, you know, and court actions and so on.

So, when we saw them having the very successful nineteen-thirty-six just around the same time, we saw this was brilliant, it was just the answer and we had something we had to do. But aside from that we had to test it, that's why Midland Steel and Kellsy were so important. They were tests, because the question is, you know, we knew we weren't gonna have the majority, you know, they always said, we defy them to have a vote, but we knew damn well out of any kind of supposed democratic vote that we wouldn't have won any kind of an election. But uh... we knew that, we trusted that we would have at least the silent adhesion of these workers. They wouldn't, they wouldn't cooperate you know, I mean they wouldn't strike, but they would cooperate, at least they wouldn't be negative.

Show Transcript Speaker: Henry Kraus. Interviewed by U-M Flint Labor History Project. Date of interview: 5-5-1982. Edited by Michael Van Dyke.

Copyright: ©2002 Michigan State University.