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At First, These Images Look Like A Bunch Of Lazy Workers. But Then, You See They’re Actually Heroes.

There are some turning points in history where things just kinda ... happen, and the game is now changed. This is one of them.

At First, These Images Look Like A Bunch Of Lazy Workers. But Then, You See They’re Actually Heroes.
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AFL Labor Mini Series

The Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936


The UAW was formed in 1935, around the same time the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was made into law. It was Washington’s way of getting some labor peace after decades of struggle that at times got violent.

The UAW had organized strikes in various small plants, but after the NLRA was enacted. the union made a conscious decision to go after a huge target — the biggest and most powerful, in fact. General Motors was the choice.

On the Job

The issues that affected auto workers, especially at the plant the UAW chose, were:

—Deadly working conditions. On-the-job injuries ended up with the workers cast aside like scrap metal with no compensation. There wasn't even a medical station in the plant. As one of the people who worked there said later, "There wasn’t a man coming out of that mill without having a couple fingers cut off."

—Frenetic assembly line speeds. Sometimes they were so fast that workers passed out. And nothing — not even a death or injury — would stop the lines.

—No vacation time, no overtime pay, no sick days, and no workers' compensation. And you could be fired for no reason at all, or laid off for months without pay because they were changing models.

—No breaks. In the summer of 1936, which had a heat wave of sorts, this was especially a problem; hundreds died on the line at various plants.

This strike was not about money. It was about humane treatment on the job and recognition of the union.

Target Locked: Fisher Body Plant #2

The union identified two targets: a plant in Flint, Michigan, that produced dies from which car parts were stamped, and a similar plant in Cleveland. If they could control the means of production, the rest would fall into place.

One of the biggest of GM's plants was the production complex in Flint. The town was pretty much owned by GM. In fact, when one of the organizers checked into his hotel room, a phone call came for him within minutes; the anonymous caller told him to get out of town or be carried out in a wooden box. The wheels were in motion for the UAW to strike the GM Fisher Body Plant #2 in Flint.

It Begins

Events changed that plan, or rather accelerated it, when two brothers were fired at the Cleveland Fisher Body plant, which happened to be the second UAW target, and the workers there spontaneously walked out in support. The UAW saw an opportunity and declared it wouldn’t settle things in Cleveland without getting a national contract covering all of GM’s plants.

Meanwhile, GM was planning to move machinery out of the Flint plant in anticipation of what was to come. The workers acted swiftly and decisively. In a historic move, on Dec. 30, 1936, the workers simply stopped working and sat down. So began the sit-down strikes that would define the UAW for generations to come. Up until that point, strikes were usually done outside facilities; this was a relatively new tactic, and it worked because it kept management and strikebreakers from entering the plant.


Government of the People, by the People

The workers even had their own system of governance, including a mayor, and departments such as Postal Service, Sanitation, Organized Recreation, and Information. This was highly organized.

As GM used every tactic it could to force the strikers out of the plant, including cutting electricity, heat, and food, support for the strikers grew in the community. Outside vendors provided food. A local restaurant even served up meals for all 2,000 strikers ... per day.

Quick, Send in the Cops. Don't Bother, They're Here...

As in many strikes at the time, GM arranged for the police to try to get them out of the plant. Strikers met them with firehoses and car parts, keeping the cops at bay for six hours. Even tear gas was used, and in response, the women’s auxiliary broke windows to let the gas out and fresh air in.

It got to a point where Washington was summoned to break the strike. Franklin D. Roosevelt refused, though his vice president, John Nance Garner, was in favor.

After pressuring local and district judges, GM received a court injunction against the strikers. The UAW ignored that and instead occupied another local plant to force GM’s hand.

As negotiations began between the UAW and GM, the Michigan National Guard was called in, but not to evict the strikers — it was called in to protect them from the police, the corporate strikebreakers, and the plant guards.


The strike lasted 44 days, and it showed that workers' power could be used to bring a giant to its knees. A contract was signed. The UAW’s reputation was sealed. In the next year, membership grew from 30,000 to 500,000.

Here's a recap of some of these events by the nephew of one of those who were there — Michael Moore. He captured it in the movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story."

And never mind the sad music in this clip — this was a victory for working people all over the world!

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

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