Dodge Main, Charles Watson: Notes

Watson discusses the phenomenology of the works council.


Note pad

AIWA,  Wolman Act (NLRA 7-a) early co union, practically run by the company
1 delegate from each dept, about fifty different depts
electioneering bsed on personal things, never any issues, money never at stake, “this was just a social

Fiinally in the latter part of 1934 mostly everybody resigned be cause they were getting no place.

It was serious in some depts.  These guys wanted to improve the condistions in theplant.
PF: you said in some departments that it got relly political (serious).  Whcih depts?
CW: machine shop, trim shop, transmission gears, core and foundary, mostly colored in vcore room and foundry, not too many active colored people at that time,,  we had some good guys . . . nevertheless the co had these people scared.

PF: you mentioned in transmission there were   two or three departments
CW: oh yeah, there were doifferent gear departments, different sets of gears . .  dept 107 and 113, therer was 2 different elections ther for representative   . . . some departments more militant (political above)
PF: which ones? [8:17]
CW: well i’d say  trim, machine shop, and gears, not foundary and core room (and janotors re blacks)

I didnt have too much to do with final assemlby

dept 76 body in white, pretty militant
paint shop they all really made a showing as far as electiong a guy they really wanted in  . . .  of course some of the guys turned out to be stool pidgeons under LaFollette investigating comm.  back in 36

we even had some of the foremen and superintendants—my super was a pretty good guy, he was an ex-machinist from Conn. [11:00] he told me one time that we would like to see you get more money, but if we ever voted (in co union meetings) for you guys to get more money, we’d be fired. CLIMATE OF THE TIMES  they would clean up floor, wash windows, etc. SMOKING IN TOILET {13:30]  This is prior to contract, he was a good joe.  Once belonged to machinists union. 14:45

PF: so in tis first works council, there were a number of people who would become very active?
CW: oh yeah. 15:35  copy of gypsie moon
Jim Campbell was first pres, and he was fired by co.  first pres of aiwa, was fired, we didn’t have the strength to shut the plant down.
PF: which depts were thee guys from?

LOOKING AT 1st annual convention of AIWA, Oct 12, 13 1935.  Zaremba Box 6

CW: reid ws from trim, frank from trim, cmpbell may have been from Maint.  We called a convention in October that took in all Chrysler plants, Graham Page, Motor Products, Morris Fields was from my dept, Ed Ayres from Graham Page, thomas chrysler 7, Harris from trim,Taylor from Chrysler Jeff local 7, Mihelic from 76,  Serament was fro final assy, wilson machine shop, brann 76,, russell from maint, gray from 113 gears, MCann from press steel, Duncan pressed steel, Dragon trim, Metz machine shop—yeah, that was the first conv we had

comment on Joe Adams: he was anti-Catholic.
CW: I was born in Scotland  21:40
John Couisns was scotch (dept 99)
23:00 resign from works council: at a meeting on co wa;lout just prior to this is the beginning of AWA , emerged after this mass resignation.  Feb or March 1935
April when we put a real drive on and got peole sign up.

34:00   Herron Zimmer strike
mostly white, native americans, god place to work until co sold out to Chicago

Motor Products strike!  Ed Hall!!!  1935?

HZ: doubts  . . .  big happy family


45:00  Zaremba originally from chicago, factory clerk
47:00  Going over depts!