Union Power and American Democracy
The UAW and the Democratic Party, 1935-72
A history of Michigan politics and of the relationship between the Democratic party and a powerful trade union
Unions comprise a powerful force in our society, and the United Auto Workers is among the most powerful. Using the clout of nearly one-half million Michigan members, and thus nearly one-half million potential voters, the UAW has become the most influential component of the Michigan Democratic party. Its involvement in selecting the “right” candidate sympathetic to its cause and in supporting legislation most beneficial to its membership is surpassed by no other interest group in Michigan politics. How had labor come to acquire this power and how far did the power extend in the Democratic party? This coalition of labor and liberals is described in detail from labor’s earliest political activity in 1935 to the Democratic state convention of 1972.
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