Title: Oral History Interview with Scott Hoyman, July 16, 1974. Interview E-0010.
Interviewer: Finger, William
Interviewee: Hoyman, Scott
Subjects: Strikes and lockouts--South Carolina Trade-unions--Textile workers--Southern States
Abstract: Scott Hoyman began working for the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA) during the 1940s. He had first become aware of the labor movement while living in Philadelphia and attending the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. During his first years of service with the TWUA, Hoyman worked in New England; however, he was transferred to the South during the early 1950s. Hoyman attributes this to divisions within the TWUA when two of its leaders, George Baldanzi and Emil Rieve, were at odds. The organization was divided in loyalty to these two factions, and Hoyman recalls that the division was largely regional in nature—more conservative New Englanders sided with Rieve in opposition to the more radical Baldanzi faction, which had a large following in the South. Hoyman speaks at length about the impact of this division on the TWUA, particularly on its membership and efforts to organize locals in the South during the 1950s and 1960s. Shortly after the initial split, Hoyman was sent to Greensboro and then Durham, North Carolina. In Durham, he worked with the Erwin Mills in order to keep them from defecting to the United Textile Workers (UTW). Hoyman discusses the challenges he faced at the Erwin Mills and then shifts his focus to his work with the Cone Mills in Greensboro, North Carolina. Hoyman was based in Greensboro from 1954 to 1960 but was never able to build a very firm basis of support for the TWUA among the Cone workers. Throughout the interview, he discusses the role of leadership within the TWUA and its efforts to organize in the South. In addition, he discusses how the labor movement evolved after he became the southern regional director of the TWUA in 1967. Focusing on his first major effort to organize workers as a regional director in Whiteville, North Carolina, Hoyman emphasizes the difficulties of organizing in the South after the Baldanzi-Rieve split.