Title: Oral History Interview with Scott Hoyman, Fall 1973. Interview E-0009.
Interviewer: Ashbaugh, Carolyn
Interviewee: Hoyman, Scott
Subjects: Highlander Folk School (Monteagle, Tenn.) Trade-unions--Textile workers--Southern States
Abstract: Scott Hoyman was an organizer and bargainer for the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA) beginning in the 1940s. In the 1950s, he began to organize textile mills in the South for TWUA before becoming the southern regional director in the late 1960s. In this interview, he focuses on the TWUA's role in the Oneita Knitting Mills strike in Andrews and Lane, South Carolina, in 1973. He begins by describing the situation for workers in these two plants, detailing racial dynamics in each plant: the Andrews plant consisted primarily of white women, whereas the Lane plant mainly employed African American women. After explaining how the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) became a less predominant force for these textile workers, Hoyman focuses on how the TWUA worked to help the striking workers. Throughout the interview, Hoyman describes various strategies and tactics for the organization of textile workers in the South. He stresses the conditions and activities leading up to a strike, the role of collective bargaining, and the impact of such factors as money and participation of workers. In addition, he stresses the importance of strong leadership and staff in successfully advocating for workers' rights. Finally, Hoyman briefly addresses the history of the TWUA, describing interactions and tensions with similar organizations, such as the Textile Workers Organizing Committee (TWOC) and the United Textile Workers (UTW). He concludes the interview by stressing the importance of having a strong unified force for organizing textile workers and by offering an assessment of the TWUA's work with major textile companies in the South at the time of the interview in the mid-1970s.