The Wright Museum


6th Annual General Gordon Baker, Jr. Tribute

"The State of the Union Movement: 50 Years After LRBW"

Saturday, September 7, 2019 from 2 - 4 PM

 
This program is a moderated panel discussion presented in partnership with the University of Michigan, Semester-in-Detroit. It will explore this history and the current state of the union movement.
 
The formation of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW), one of the most important formation in the Black Liberation Movement, finds its roots in a wildcat strike which took place at the Dodge Main Plant, May 2, 1968, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The strike was organized in response to a speedup in the lines. Although the wildcat strike was led by a coalition of workers, including Polish women workers and Black workers, punishment following the action was disproportionately landed upon Black workers. Seven people, including five Blacks, were fired following the action, with all but two, General G. Baker Jr. and Bennie Tate, eventually rehired.
Following the strike, which crippled the largest auto manufacturer, nine workers from the plant formed close relationships with the editors of "The Inner City Voice", and decided to form the first Revolutionary Union Movement, called the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM).