LANSING — State Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton) introduced House Resolution 19 today to declare Feb. 11, 2017, as White Shirt Day in the state of Michigan. White Shirt Day aims to recognize the equal respect and treatment for blue-collar and white-collar workers, and the unity and strength of United Auto Workers members.
“The dedication and commitment of the UAW and its members shaped the strong backbone upon which today’s workforce relies,” said Sneller. “Workers today would not enjoy such generous benefits and pay if it were not for the sacrifice and strength exhibited by the first UAW members, who paved the way for the rest of us so many years ago.”
On Feb. 11, 2017, UAW members and retirees will wear white shirts to both celebrate the 80th anniversary of the union’s first contract with General Motors, and to commemorate the anniversary of the end of the famous Flint Sit-Down Strike in 1937. The origin of the UAW’s White Shirt Day can be traced back to 1948, when a member of Local 598, Bert Christensen, suggested that workers wear the white shirts traditionally worn by managers to show the company that they were equally important to the business.
After graduating high school, Rep. Sneller worked for the Flint General Motors Truck and Assembly Plant, where he served as an alternate committeeman and member of the UAW Local 598 from 1976-1983.
“I am proud to have worked for General Motors in Flint and to have been a member of Local 598,” said Sneller. “Being a member of the UAW has taught me the value of hard work and perseverance in all that I do. The Flint community, our state and our nation have benefitted immeasurably from the presence and involvement of unions in our workplaces. I am honored to sponsor this resolution recognizing White Shirt Day in Michigan, and I thank the UAW for their contributions in strengthening and building Michigan’s workforce and communities.”