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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Negative effects of technological advances in the textile and hosiery mills

Often technological advances are remembered as being positive signs of progress, but as Yelton explains, sometimes the changes actually caused greater injury to the workers.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. 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

JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you have any bad bosses?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
I've always got along with my bossmen, everywhere I worked. And I've tried to do what they told me to do and all. But I didn't like that one too much that took my job away and give it to his wife. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
If you had a supervisor that nobody liked, was there any way to get rid of him?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Yes, they did where I worked at the hosiery mill, Kayser-Roth. They were looping then; they used to loop, but now it's all seaming. This woman and I were doing the same work, only I did the long and she did the short, inspecting. We had a looper whose machine was making a little hole in a gore, and you just couldn't hardly see it. Over at the finishing plant at Dukes, they caught it and they sent maybe ten or fifteen boxes back, because they thought it had to be done over. This bossman liked this other girl, because he went hunting. They had a big farm and went hunting and would sell meat and stuff. They was farming, too, down in Catawba. So they come back, and he wouldn't let her do none over. I had to do mine over, and some of the rest helped do it. And he'd just keep saying, "These damn inspectors are not going to cause me to lose my job." So they didn't find as many in mine as they did in this other woman's that I'd let go through, and he just kept on and kept on, and I was about to have a nervous breakdown. So he went on and on, and he got fired, but it wasn't over the inspectors. But after that I just couldn't like him as good as I did before, the way he treated me.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He was blaming you for not ...
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
It was her fault, too, but he wouldn't say nothing to her.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did all that stuff have to be done over, and you didn't get paid for it?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
No.
JACQUELYN HALL:
So you had to do it over during regular work hours, but you weren't being paid anything at all?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
No. And that's what made me so mad, and he didn't let her do any of it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How long did that take?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
It didn't take but a day or two, because they had other... Not regular inspectors, but others, like the floor lady and some of the others, would do it, help get it done.
JACQUELYN HALL:
So you just had to lose a couple of days' pay.
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Yes. I had, I reckon, four or five bosses over there.