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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Scott Hoyman, Fall 1973. Interview E-0009. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Various strands of the labor movement for textile workers

Hoyman discusses how various organizations for textile workers—namely the United Textile Workers (UTW), the Textile Workers Organizing Committee (TWOC), and the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA)—came into existence and how they interacted with one another, primarily during the 1940s. In addition, he addresses the divisions that occurred within the TWUA during the early 1950s. He ends his assessment of these various strands of the labor movement by stressing the importance of having a united front when advocating for labor rights.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Scott Hoyman, Fall 1973. Interview E-0009. 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

SCOTT HOYMAN:
Well, do you know the UTW vs. TWUA …
DAN McCURRY:
No, I just knew that it was there.
SCOTT HOYMAN:
O.K. In the beginning, there was a UTW. When John L. came along and set up, TWOC was set up by , the UTW became part of TWOC and they stayed part until 1939 and then there was a political squabble and instead of all those locals remaining in TWOC, which became TWUA, some of them went back and they were welcomed with open arms, back into the AFL. And that's how UTW stayed in existence. Most of their locals, as I understood it, became TWUA locals. So, we are very critical of them. We don't often get into contests with them, but their standards of wages and their conduct vs. the company raises a lot of questions.
DAN McCURRY:
What would that mean? I'll tell you why I'm talking to them, aside from having spoken to of course, … [unclear] … and they have really hesitated to talk about it, those early organizing days, because it seems … [unclear] … even though the CIO … was there a contest?
SCOTT HOYMAN:
I think that there were some contests up there at the time of the Southern organizing drive, which would be '46 to '49. I don't know how far back was organized. I really never had too much to do with them. But the international is not strong. It furnishes weak leadership. The style of a union depends on what these important locals want to do. for example, four or five years ago had a strike. The first, so far as I know, the first strike in their history. Well, maybe they had one in their beginning. The UTW would never call a strike, it would be forced on them by the local. It's happened over in Childressburg, Alabama and it's happened a few other places and we don't … we think that it is unfortunate. We would like to merge and we can't get them to merge. Now, Whitmire is the director for UTW … they have two directors in the South. He's the one for this part. He lives in
DAN McCURRY:
He does?
SCOTT HOYMAN:
And I guess that he would be out of the, maybe the … [unclear] Roy Whitmire.
DAN McCURRY:
… [unclear] …
SCOTT HOYMAN:
It's wasteful to have two unions. We have done one thing, we've never repeated the bad experience that we had in '52 when there was a split and our executive vice-president tried to take a lot of our members into the UTW from TWUA. That produced a very wasteful period of time.