Title: Oral History Interview with Cynthia Sykes Cook, February 19, 1994. Interview K-0091.
Identifier: K-0091
Interviewer: Pawlewicz, Valerie
Interviewee: Cook, Cynthia Sykes
Subjects: Furniture industry and trade--North Carolina    Furniture workers--North Carolina    White Furniture Company    North Carolina--Social conditions    Cook, Cynthia Sykes, 1957-    Women--Employment--North Carolina--History--20th century    
Extent: 00:47:02
Abstract:  Cynthia Sykes Cook started work at the White Furniture Factory in Mebane, North Carolina, in 1980 and stayed there until the factory closed in 1993. Cook had a college degree and worked in a variety of positions in the factory office, including sales and the creation of manuals for furniture assembly. Cook describes some of the elements of these jobs, but she focuses on the plant's closing, which preceded this interview by only eight months. Cook remains upset about it; the interviewer stops the tape once when she begins crying. Cook believes that the factory was an essential part of town life. Its loss was a devastating shock that, as time passed, revealed the factory's importance in providing an environment where workers could cultivate friendships. That kind of a workplace no longer exists, Cook believes.