chapter  IV
36 Pages

Local 600 and the Vietnam War: Part I

In 1965, Walter Dorosh rose to the presidency of United Auto Workers’ Local 600—the largest union local in the world. Local 600 represented 32,278 active workers and about 18,000 retirees at Ford’s River Rouge automobile complex in Dearborn. In his installation speech Dorosh, a tool-and-die maker, talked about the Vietnam War. The Local 600 leadership, which did not support the war, promoted a progressive agenda far in advance of Walter Reuther and the International Executive Board. In the documentary film United Automobile Workers Local 600: A History to be Proud of, A Tradition to Carry On, retired member Dave Moore, referring to the Ford Hunger March of 1932, recalls that “Local 600 was born in blood that day on Miller Road when blood was shed by both black and white—it carried over into the organizing drive.”