What is significant about the papers that Mr. Lewis has in his possession in Bud, Not Buddy?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The papers Mr. Lewis has in his possession are flyers advertising a meeting for individuals interested in joining a union for Pullman porters. They are dangerous because the company owners are "trying everything they can think of" to prevent labor from organizing.

The labor movement is just beginning its fight for legitimacy in defense of workers' rights at the time the story takes place during the Depression years. The factory owners are powerful, and have the support of local law enforcement. In the smaller towns such as Grand Rapids, Michigan, there are no establishments who will dare to print up pro-union flyers, so Mr. Lewis has gone all the way to Flint to have his flyers made, and is bringing them back to be distributed in Grand Rapids. Having been made aware of a planned sit-down strike on the part of workers in a factory in Grand Rapids, the police have been on the lookout for union agitators from Detroit and other surrounding big cities who might be coming in on behalf of the strikers. Mr. Lewis and Bud are stopped on the road by an officer, who searches the car, but does not find the box of incriminating flyers that Bud, according to Mr. Lewis' instructions, has hidden "way beneath (his) seat." Had he found them, Mr. Lewis would have been identified as one of "those stinking labor organizers" who are trying to upset the status-quo in Grand Rapids, and been in a world of troubleĀ (Chapter 12).