Event—Scholarly Seminars

Steve Rosswurm, Lake Forest College

The 1939 Strike and the Origins of Chrysler Exceptionalism, Steve Rosswurm

This paper examines the 1939 strike, centered at Dodge Main, in effort to help explain why Chrysler’s post-WWII production processes extracted considerably less surplus from its employees than GM and Ford. It does so through an examination of the shop-floor dimensions of the conflict as well as the negotiations which ironically strengthened the ability of labor to withstand the increasing intensification of work. Finally, the impact of the strike, especially at Dodge Main, will be discussed as it played out for the next twenty years.

Respondents: Kevin Boyle, Northwestern University, and Daniel Clark, Oakland University