On this day in labor history, the year was 1984.
That was the day Toledo autoworkers at AP Parts plant battled police in an attempt to save their union.
The battle unfolded on the 50th anniversary of the historic Toledo Auto-Lite Strike.
400 members of UAW local 14 had been on strike against the parts plant since May 2.
The company imposed a final offer that stripped workers of their seniority rights, ended 30 and out pensions, and cut wages by 40%.
Then they laid off 175 workers and targeted the rest with a campaign of harassment and discipline.
Workers walked off the job when the NLRB dismissed the union’s unfair labor practice charges.
Local newspapers printed names and addresses of striking workers in a blatant attempt to blacklist them from area employers.
Strikers had had it with AP’s union-busting tactics, which included paying the hated private goon squad, Nuckols Security, $45,000 a week to escort scabs into the plant.
The final straw came with an injunction, restricting the number of pickets.
In an act of solidarity, area unions came together for a show of union strength.
Thousands of UAW people from area auto plants, joined with striking OCAW refinery workers at the main gate, to challenge the new injunction.
Police in full riot gear charged the crowd with tear gas, clubs and pellet guns, beating and arresting dozens of strikers.
A pitched battle ensued between workers and police that lasted up to eighteen hours until the company was finally forced to eject scabs from the plant.
While workers were jubilant, the strike served as a warning about the future of small parts plants.
The strike dragged on for months, ending in deep concessions and outsourcing.