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9,000 Packard Automobile Workers Strike as Company Plans for Golden Jubilee

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Packard

9,000 Packard Automobile Workers Strike as Company Plans for Golden Jubilee

St. Petersburg Times
25 April 1949

DETROIT — (AP) — CIO United Auto Workers local 190 ordered a strike at midnight last night at Packard Motor Car Co.

Nine thousand workers are affected.

The strike preceded by one week a meeting of 2,000 Packard dealers in Detroit to celebrate the company's golden jubilee.

The walkout was voted yesterday at a mass meeting attended by about 1,000 union members, according to Ralph Urban, local 190 president.

"THIS IS our answer to Packard's golden jubilee," Urban said. He blamed the strike on "long-standing" grievances.

There was no immediate comment from the company or the International union.

Local officers ordered the walkout without the customary authorization from the International executive board.

Urban listed the union grievances as follows:

1—Discharge of several employes.
2—Violation of seniority rights.
3—Barring the union bargaining committee from the shop in violation of an agreement signed Oct. 21, 1948.
4—Failure of the company to correct health hazards in production departments.

In the past week Packard was hit by "quickie" walkout which the union said were caused by a dispute over gold paint being used on cars in preparation for the jubilee celebration.

The strike was the first full-scale walkout this year on an automotive front plagued by numerous petty disputes. Almost daily since early in the year there had been "quickie" walkouts and mass layoffs at the larger auto firms.

Last week, workers at Ford Motor Company's Rouge and Lincoln plants voted to strike. They are awaiting approval of the International union.

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