1971: On Strike!

On this day in 1971, nearly 400 works at EIS Automotive Corp. in Middletown went on strike, demanding a wage increase and greater benefits, including an end to arbitrary job transfers by foremen in the plant. Most workers were members of the Local 376 United Automobile Workers (UAW) under union President Philip Wheeler. The strikers picketed outside the firm’s three plants night and day, halting deliveries and suspending business functions.

The strike would go on for 146 days, eventually coming to a close with a new contract on June 2 promising workers a raise of 25 cents the first year, along with a host of other benefit increases.

Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.


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