1. Man and Myth
“We’ll never recognize the United Automobile Workers or any other union,” declared Henry Ford after all other leading auto manufacturers had signed contracts with the UAW. “Labor unions are the worst thing that ever struck the earth.”
No other American industrialist had waged so ruthlessly effective a fight as Henry Ford against trade unions; and the passage of the Wagner Labor Act had by no means diminished his determination to see that his employees remained unorganized. Ford had long regarded himself as above the laws of the land.
In the three and a half decades that had elapsed since Ford first experimented in an empty stable in Detroit with a strange looking contraption resembling a large perambulator with a motor in the back, the once obscure mechanic had become one of the richest and most powerful men in the world.