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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ethel Bowman Shockley, June 24, 1977. Interview H-0045. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Reaction of a Plaid Mill worker to the National Textile Strike of 1934

Shockley remembers that during the national textile strike of 1934, the workers at Plaid Mill largely remained loyal to their employers. She recalls that only a few of her fellow workers in the textile mill participated in the strike and that the vast majority of them continued to work. Had they not, she explains, the bosses would have assumed they were part of a union and they would have been fired. In this regard, it seems that employer intimidation, rather than worker satisfaction with wages and conditions, may have been the stronger motivation for workers such as Shockley.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ethel Bowman Shockley, June 24, 1977. Interview H-0045. 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:
When the national textile strike was declared, what happened to the Plaid Mill? Did the mills stay open during the strike?
ETHEL BOWMAN SHOCKLEY:
They stayed open during the strike, because that's where we had to fight. If we had not went in, they would have declared us a union, so that's the way we did. We went in every day during the strike and worked. Them that wanted to join the union, they joined but they didn't have no job at the Plaid Mill. They done lost their jobs when they stayed out to join the union.
CLIFF KUHN:
Could they get jobs anywhere else in the county?
ETHEL BOWMAN SHOCKLEY:
Yes, I guess so.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
How many people stayed out?
ETHEL BOWMAN SHOCKLEY:
There wasn't too many of ours stayed out.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Just a few from the Plaid Mill?
ETHEL BOWMAN SHOCKLEY:
Just a few that wanted to run the place.