a worker holds a lunchbox in one hand and a timeclock in the other while stepping forward

Punching Out: Solidarity on the Factory Floor

by Martin Glaberman Author

In 1952 Marty Glaberman was a Detroit autoworker who had participated in wildcat strikes and UAW union policing of the workforce. After witnessing a series of workers who were promoted to steward and become ineffective negotiators, Glaberman had a realization. He had been an autoworker since before unionization in 1937 but consistently watched promoted workers turn against their own as they were promoted. Why? The question that has been asked in every coal mine, worker shop, ship in port, steel mill, and auto plant was forever: was it selfish betrayal or bureaucracy that killed any prospects of solidarity in even the most active union worker?