The Flint Sit-Down Strike Audio Presentation

Yeah, I was buckin' nickel before the strike, then um, then they transfered me over to the oil pan line and uh... course I was gettin on the uh.... The reason why I brought this up, now I was gettin' sixteen cents an hour more then press operators when I was bucking nickel, see? That job paid sixteen cents an hour more. When they transfered me over to the presses, uh, on the oil pan line, I still kept my sixteen cents an hour, which was more than what the press operators were gettin, see?

The press operators were gettin' forty-five cents an hour and I was gettin' sixty-one. So my foreman, Vern Willingham came over to me one night right after they had their, started the sit-down in plant four, and he said, "Ricks" he says uh, "you don't need to deny it, I know you belong to union," but he says uh, "There's one thing I can't understand." He says "I can understand why these other guys working alongside of you here are talkin' union," but he says "I can't understand why you are."

And uh, he says uh, "damnit your gettin sixteen cents more an hour than they are," and I said "Well, that's partly the reason Vern, I want them to get the same amount of money as I'm gettin' and maybe a little more by the way."

Show Transcript Speaker: Grant Ricks. Interviewed by U-M Flint Labor History Project. Date of interview: 3-13-1980. Edited by Michael Van Dyke.

Copyright: ©2002 Michigan State University.