Today in labor history: Rubber workers start huge sit-down strike

On this day in 1936, rubber workers in Akron Ohio began a sit-down strike that resulted in union recognition.

The sit-down tactic proved extremely effective. Workers literally sat in at their jobs and refused to leave. As a result, the company was unable to hire scab replacements.

In Akron, the tactic was first employed by competing union baseball teams, who protested the use of a non-union umpire.

The 1936 strike action began with truck tire workers at Firestone protesting the firing of a union committee leader. A wave of strikes at Goodrich and other plants ensued. Some 19 sit-downs in the following three months occurred. 

The tactic then spread to auto workers in  Michigan and was used famously in Flint.


Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.