By Joyce Shaw Peterson
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Extra resources for American automobile workers, 1900-1933
His railroad experience led him into a Railroad Brotherhood union. In the auto industry, he was a metal finisher, worked in the paint shop, and worked a punch press in the machine shop. 4 Stanley Nowak was born in Poland in 1903. He came to the United States with his family when he was ten and lived in Chicago where his father and brother worked in the stockyards and were involved in a strike that left a vivid impression on the boy. He first worked in the clothing industry where he became a member of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers.
Speaking citizens with northern European habits, out of its immigrant population. Here, the desire of auto manufacturers to produce factory-disciplined workers and of city fathers to create law-abiding citizens knowing in the ways of American democracy merged in the Americanization campaign. In a report prepared for the Detroit Board of Commerce, Raymond Cole indicated his perception of the dangers of leaving the immigrant population uneducated in American ways. The immigrant races in Detroit have in many cases formed colonies taking, like an invading army, section after section of the city exclusively for themselves.
Attendance at the Ford English School was compulsory for employees who wanted to keep their jobs. Lessons consisted of instruction in the English language, which was also designed to impart training in good health habits, factory safety, obedience to rules, American government, and the way to apply for citizenship papers. 22 One might suppose that employers would have thought it an advantage to have a work force divided by language. There is little evidence of such thinking in the auto industry at this time.
American automobile workers, 1900-1933 by Joyce Shaw Peterson