Refusal to condemn labor union movement limits political support
Sanford lost some political support because he did not condemn labor unions. He believed that they had been beneficial for North Carolina and for the economy in general.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, August 20 and 21, 1976. Interview A-0328-2. 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
- BRENT GLASS:
How does the absence of a significant organized labor force in North
Carolina effect politics?
- TERRY SANFORD:
Well, if you wanted to be half way fair, or certainly if you wanted to be
fair to organized labor as such, it cost you politically. It cost me
politically to be known as a person that thought labor unions were all
right, let alone not being an advocate of it one way or the other. I
just simply thought that the labor union movement in this country had
been very beneficial to the whole economy and for North Carolina too,
indirectly because of the assistance of labor unions. Even the
Burlington and Cannon Mills people would admit that they were keeping
ahead of the unions in what they were doing. So, we benefited from the
union movement. I attempted to be fair and always was and have no
regrets, but I don't doubt that it cost me votes, especially in the
hosiery business and to some extent, the small furniture business in the
High Point-Thomasville area. There happened to be a fellow over there
that ran a regular crusade against me because I was pro-labor, he said,
and he was in charge of the kind of strong arm effort to keep labor out
of that area.