Feb 10, 2010

Wear a white shirt to work to honor worker dignity

Wear a white shirt to work tomorrow to both honor the contribution labor unions have made to society by creating the middle class and celebrate the end of the historic 1937 sit-down strike at General Motor's production complex in Flint that led to the United Auto Workers (UAW) recognition as the sole bargaining agent for GM workers.

Thursday, Feb. 11 will mark the anniversary of that historic day that led to the creation of the middle class. More than 60 years ago, workers had to endure tear gas, clubs and an assault by police to win their dignity, but even today the unions and workers are still under assault. The tactics are much more subtle than the outright attacks and violence used by the robber barons, but the only real difference is that the Republicans today are using sneaker methods and lies to try and bust the unions and kill the middle class.

The tradition of wearing a white shirt on Feb. 11 began in 1948 when Bert Christensen, a member of the UAW Local 598 Educational Committee, came up with the ideas of White Shirt Day to mark the end of the historic sit-down strike. He wanted workers to wear the white-collar attire traditionally worn by managers to show the company that blue-collars were just as important as management.

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