White T-Shirt Day
This article is all about the Story Behind National White Shirt Day- Upon reading the title of this blog, you may be wondering what White Shirt Day is and how it came into existence. If this is the case, allow me to briefly summarize the history of White Shirt Day.
It all began in the 1930s during the time of the Great Depression, also a time where various union groups began to form in order to ensure workers were being fairly and ethically treated. In 1935, United Auto Workers was founded, a group that fought for the rights of automobile workers. In the year 1936, in Flint, Michigan, men and women working for General Motors decided enough was enough. They decided that they were no longer going to put up with their insufficient pay, harsh work conditions, and unethical treatment. The mistreatment that was taking place was so brutal and unethical, yet General Motors either turned a blind eye to the matter of fact or just didn’t care enough about their workers.
Collectively, these courageous men and women decided to partake in a strike that would last two months. From December 1936 until February 11th, 1937, these workers sat inside the plants but did not work. Some people also know this day as UAW White Shirt Day because UAW, United Auto Workers, were the ones who organized said strike. On February 11th, 1937, General Motors decided to provide their workers with lunch breaks and an increase in pay. This was a huge win for the men and women who had been working under such difficult conditions in the past. Their dedication to the two-month-long sit-in has proven beneficial for future employees.
Why White T-Shirt Day?
The idea of the white shirt sprouts from the idea of fair work and fair treatment. If you think about your boss or a boss you have had in the past, you have probably seen them in a crisp white shirt. They wear this crisp white shirt because they are not getting dirty due to physically demanding and laborious tasks. Rather, they point this laborious and dangerous work in the direction of their workers. So, why can the boss figures wear white shirts without worrying? Why can’t we all wear white shirts and trust that the system will support us? Yes, the laborious work has to be completed by someone, this we are aware of. However, these people must be properly compensated and taken care of for the duration of said work. Hence the birth of the white t-shirt. Ever since this particular moment in history, on February 11th, wearing a white shirt will carry more meaning than on any other day. If you want to know how you can celebrate or commemorate this day, keep reading to learn more.
How to Celebrate White Shirt Day
If this is the first time you have heard of White T-Shirt Day, White Shirt Day 2021 is a great time to show your solidarity. We celebrate this day to thank the courageous men and women for the work they did in the past to ensure a brighter future for us living in the present. To show your solidarity, and to celebrate their achievements, simply wear a white shirt and try your best not to dirty it. By doing this annually, on February 11th, we can ignite conversations about moments in history that have and continue to fade away. It is important we shine light upon moments that occurred in the past in order to maintain and continue moving forward with change. If we one day forget about the men and women who fought for fair treatment within the automobile industry, it may be easier to fall back into old habits. By recognizing, appreciating, and then celebrating the hard work and successes of these people, we will hopefully choose to not relive a scary and unpredictable time in history. With February 11th quickly approaching, start spreading the word to your coworkers, family, and friends now. Share the information you have learned today and don’t forget to wear your white t-shirt!