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Irving Bluestone: Saturn Corporation Papers

Identifier: LP000213_Saturn

Scope and Content

The Irving Bluestone: Saturn Corporation Collection contains instructional material, speeches, newspaper and magazine articles and other items documenting the development of the co-management/team production model at Saturn as well as the controversy that emerged over the implementation of this radically different labor-management relationship.

Important subjects in the collection: Automobile industry and trade--United States Automobile industry workers--United States Industrial relations--United States Management--Employee participation--United States Quality of work life Saturn Corporation Saturn Corporation--Employees UAW Local 1853 (Spring Hill, Tenn.)

Important correspondents in the collection: Michael Bennett Irving Bluestone


  • 1985 - 1995


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


In 1982 General Motors began discussions about using innovative design and manufacturing techniques to build a quality, cost-effective small car that could compete with foreign-made vehicles. The following year the UAW was brought into the discussions and the Saturn Project was officially launched. GM unveiled Saturn Corporation as a wholly-owned subsidiary in January of 1985 and six months later the historic labor agreement giving the UAW full partnership in the management of the enterprise was signed. In 1986 work began on Saturn’s unique facility at Spring Hill, Tennessee, which accommodated the manufacture of all major components of the car on site, and the first Saturns went on sale in the fall of 1990.

In 1992, retired UAW Vice President and General Motors Department director, Irving Bluestone co-authored Negotiating the Future, which described how a new, non-adversarial approach to labor-management relations could help America compete in world markets. Most of the material in this collection was assembled by Mr. Bluestone for his chapter on the innovative labor-management experiment between the UAW and GM’s Saturn division, although some of the press coverage and correspondence with UAW Saturn Local 1853 president, Michael Bennett postdates the book’s publication.


.75 Linear Feet (2 MB)


Subjects include: Saturn Corporation; General Motors; UAW Local 1853 (Spring Hill, Tenn.); co-management/team production labor relations model; Michael Bennett


Folders are arranged alphabetically.


The papers comprising the Irving Bluestone: Saturn Corporation Collection were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in February of 1995 by Mr. Bluestone.


A videotape of the segment on Saturn Corporation in the 1991 ABC documentary, “Revolution at Work,” has been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in November 2000.
Guide to the Irving Bluestone: Saturn Corporation Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA