Workers used the technique of the sit-down strike since the beginning of the 20th
century, not only in the United States, but also in Italy, Poland, Yugoslavia, and
France. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) were the first American union
to use the sit-down strike. On December 10, 1906, at the General Electric Workers
in Schenectady, New York, 3,000 workers sat down on the job and stopped plant
production to protest the dismissal of three fellow IWW members.
The United Auto Workers staged successful sit-down strikes in the 1930s, best
remembered is the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936-1937. The U.S. Supreme Court
outlawed sit-down strikes on February 27, 1939.
Form letter that non-striking GM workers mailed to President Roosevelt in 1937