Event—Scholarly Seminars

Daniel A. Graff, University of Notre Dame


Profit Splitting, Power Sharing, and Policy Setting: The UAW’s Forgotten Fight Against ‘Excess Profits’ and Economic Amnesia in the Contemporary USA, Daniel Graff

In 1958, the United Automobile Workers unveiled an innovative profit-sharing proposal. Decrying the auto industry’s “excess profits,” the union demanded their conversion into higher wages for workers and lower prices for customers. Though rebuffed by the Big Three, the plan earned widespread and at times sympathetic press coverage throughout 1958. Dropped from public memory, the UAW’s “profit-splitting” initiative reminds us that current debates over inequality aren’t new; further, it invites reconsideration of a lost history of American anti-excessiveness, especially the role of non-governmental actors in those efforts.

Respondents: Steve Rosswurm, Lake Forest College & Daniel Clark, Oakland University