New Teaching Labor Story Entry

Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement’s [DRUM] list of Demands, 1969
Looking for a way to broaden and deepen discussions of race to include issues of work and
class?

Looking for ways to broaden and deepen discussions of work and class to include issues of
race?

DRUM’s list of Demands, issued to Chrysler’s Dodge Main assembly plant in Hamtramck,
Michigan, in 1969, is a great primary source for exploring these issues. DRUM’s Demands offer
fine-grained insight into shopfloor conditions, employment practices, workplace grievances,
and the ways in which militant activists joined revolutionary Black nationalism with the struggle
for workers’ rights.

The contextualizing essay connects DRUM’s Demands to both local community conditions
(including “the particularly grim housing crisis,…an abysmal track record of racialized violence
at the hands of the Detroit Metropolitan Police, and…below-average opportunities for younger
workers”) which contributed to Detroit’s urban uprising in 1967, and to wider national and
international activism (including the Black Panther’s 10-point program and ideas of labor
internationalism).

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