Business owners used workers' religious beliefs to discourage unionizing
Burgess discusses how industrialists employed religious doctrine to diminish pro-union sentiments among religious working-class communities.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with David Burgess, September 25, 1974. Interview E-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- BILL FINGER:
Earlier, you had written a letter, like maybe a year or something like
that, on Fellowship letterhead to southern churches all over, all
across. . . .
- DAVID BURGESS:
Yes. I wrote for the average southern preacher. I wrote a pamphlet for
the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen, again using a dramatic sort of a
story of a mill town, what happens, and how the workers try to organize.
This was circulated all over the South. It was used by other organizers
in other places where the local churches were bought, sold,
signed, and delivered by the mill owners. They were kept
fundamentalists. And I remember their favorite Biblical quote was
"Be not equally to the yoke with unbelievers." When
you apply this to a union and you're really a gone goose. I remember
this very clearly, and I had several debates with some of the ministers