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Chocolate Workers' Sit-Down Strike

  • Cocoa Ave. near Caracas Ave. Hershey, PA 17033

On April 2, 1937 workers at the Hershey Chocolate Corporation began a six day sit-down strike following the firing of a number of union organizers despite earlier negotiations that promised higher wages and job security for organizers. For several days the strike carried on peacefully, however increasing resistance to the strike especially from the area’s dairy farmers who sold their milk to the factory eventually prompted thousands of Hershey’s supporters to rally on April 7 for the strikers to leave the factory or face forcible eviction. Union representatives and Hershey executives reached an agreement to end the strike, but rally members stormed the factory and severely beat several of the union organizers. Following an investigation by the National Labor Relations Board, the Hershey Chocolate Corporation was required to hold union elections.