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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Eula McGill, December 12, 1974. Interview G-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Apathy may spell death of labor movement

The younger generation of workers does not comprehend the need for struggle or have the same concept of worker self-identity that defined earlier generations.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Eula McGill, December 12, 1974. Interview G-0039. 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

LEWIS LIPSITZ What do you see sort of as the future of the labor movement and the major problems that are around that need to be dealt with? Let's say particularly in the South, feel free to talk about whatever you want.
EULA MCGILL:
Well, I think that there is too much apathy, not only in the labor movement, but in life itself. You know, I saw a motto and I don't know where I saw it, but it impressed me, it was just written down and it said, "Some people make things happen. Some people watch them happen. Some people wonder what happens." (laughter) That impressed me because I have always felt like everything that happens, something had to make it happen. Nothing just goes along by itself, you go forward or backward. I am concerned that too many people, it has come to them too easy, without the workers actually participating. Times have been good, you go and ask the boss for a raise and you got it. You know, we have had it fairly good. I have worried about the time that the union might not be able to get an increase or make any gains in the contract. I hope that our members are prepared for it, because it may come upon us, we don't know. I think that we have more or less not tried to . . . it's not so much that the young people haven't listened to us as that we haven't tried to talk to them. Work patterns are changing, work is changing. What is work? Most people think that working is when you've got to go out here and physically work. More and more in this country, the work is changing and I don't think the people really realize that.