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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Josephine Glenn, June 27, 1977. Interview H-0022. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Employment process in the 1930s and 1940s

Glenn explains how textile mills hired during the 1930s and 1940s, and she also insists that anyone who really wanted work could find it.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Josephine Glenn, June 27, 1977. Interview H-0022. 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

CLIFF KUHN:
How long did you work at Swepsonville?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
I worked there about a year and a half at that time. At that time, they would have a regular crew that they kept all the time, and when they'd get in a big order they would hire extra help to get that out. And then they'd lay that extra help off, and I happened to be one of the extra ones, and I got laid off several times. During a layoff, I'd go someplace else and get me a job and work.
CLIFF KUHN:
Could you generally find work around in the town?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
Yes, if you looked hard enough. I told some of them one time ... They was pushing the union, and I wasn't too much for it. They was talking about I'd be looking for a job when the union got in. I said, "I never have looked for one, I didn't find it. It might not be what I wanted or where I wanted, but you can always find one till you can do better."
CLIFF KUHN:
How did you go about landing a job?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
You didn't have to go through the employment office at that time. You could just go to a mill and talk to the overseer, and if he needed help he could hire you. But they can't do that anymore. I understand that the job has to go up on a board, and then everybody that's there can bid on it, and if somebody wants it they get it first, and then maybe they'll hire somebody for the job that they came off of.
CLIFF KUHN:
Did you know any of the overseers at that time?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
Yes. When I first went to work in the mill I didn't. A friend of mine got me a job. I talked to the boss man over there, and he put me to work.
CLIFF KUHN:
Was that usually the way that it would work?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
Yes, it used to work like that, but not anymore. They just don't do it that way anymore anywhere, I don't guess.
CLIFF KUHN:
Did your husband get his job the same way?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
Yes.