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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ila Hartsell Dodson, May 23, 1980. Interview H-0241. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Disinterest in joining a union

Dodson recalls some striking workers known as the Flying Squadron. She was not working when they struck, but they tried to get her husband to join their union. Dodson was opposed to unions then and is opposed to them now.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ila Hartsell Dodson, May 23, 1980. Interview H-0241. 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

ALLEN TULLOS:
I guess these strikes and things would have been going on during the time in which you weren't working.
ILA HARTSELL DODSON:
No, I wasn't working then. I hadn't gone to work, no. [Laughter] But I remember taking the children. It was something new, you know. What did they call them strikers?
ALLEN TULLOS:
The Flying Squadron?
ILA HARTSELL DODSON:
The Flying Squadron was coming into the mill village down here, and boy, I took them four children, and the woman next door said, "Come on, Dodson, let's go down there." And we went down there and was sitting across the street and saw them. They had sticks and everything, trying to get in that mill down there. I can remember that. And my husband was in there. But we stayed there till their daddy come out. And boy, he brought us home, too, because [chuckle] we didn't have no business down there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Which mill was that?
ILA HARTSELL DODSON:
Dunean Mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
We'll get that story when we get your side of it. So you do remember seeing that Flying Squadron?
ILA HARTSELL DODSON:
Oh, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What did you all think about them and what they were doing?
ILA HARTSELL DODSON:
My husband didn't join a union. They come and knocked on his door early one morning, wanted him to go down to the mill and picket down there or do something. But he didn't get up and go. He didn't have nothing to do with them; he just stayed home.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was your opinion of the union back then?
ILA HARTSELL DODSON:
Same as it is now. I'm not in favor of it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why not?
ILA HARTSELL DODSON:
Because it's nothing but trouble. No good in it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You didn't see any advantages that the workers would have had . . .
ILA HARTSELL DODSON:
No.