An explanation for lack of unionization in one working community
Pauline Griffith explains that although she and her husband never joined a union, one of her brothers did and experienced trouble finding a job as a result. According to Pauline, efforts at unionization in the Judson Mill fell short. Throughout the interview, she and her husband generally describe their working conditions in favorable terms, and here she reiterates that so long as working conditions are amenable, she believes unionization and organized labor activity were better left alone.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Paul and Pauline Griffith, May 30, 1980. Interview H-0247. 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
- PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No, it's been pretty peaceful out here. The people have been pretty
peaceful. Unions all right if it's done right. But now, if they have
some hotheads in there that causes trouble, that's where the trouble is.
But we never did join the union, neither of us.
- ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you know of anybody that ever did?
- PAULINE GRIFFITH:
My youngest brother did. There was some hothead that caused a strike at
this mill, and so he didn't cause trouble, but he just went out rather
than to have trouble with them, and he thought he was really in dutch
with the boss because he even went out. He tried to get work everywhere,
but he couldn't. So, he was down here among us and we all helped him
out. And he went back up there where he had worked, and they had his job
waiting on him, because he hadn't given any trouble and was a good
worker. And so, it's bad if there's some hotheads among anything. But I
don't know that he belongs to it now. He suffered from it, and we all
participated in it to help him. If working conditions are nice, and you
can live, I think it's best not to get too involved.