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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Junie Edna Kaylor Aaron, December 12, 1979. Interview H-0106. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Little sex discrimination in factory wages

Aaron recalls that male and female workers received approximately equivalent compensation for their work, which was not particularly dangerous, except to careless workers' fingers. If a sewer ran a needle through her finger, she would quickly bandage it and keep working.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Junie Edna Kaylor Aaron, December 12, 1979. Interview H-0106. 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

JACQUELYN HALL:
Was sewing a skilled job?
JUNIE EDNA KAYLOR AARON:
Yes. Most of the sewers could learn it pretty easy. You had to be careful and not just put the gloves together any way.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Which jobs do you think required the most skill?
JUNIE EDNA KAYLOR AARON:
I think sewing did. Of course, the material had to be cut good, too. I guess one was about as much as the other one, because if the material wasn't cut good you couldn't make a good glove out of it. But if it was, why, you could make a good glove out of it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Which jobs paid the most?
JUNIE EDNA KAYLOR AARON:
I think cutting paid the most. Of course, the cutting was always hour work. Maybe some of the sewers could make more than the cutters when they was on piecework; I don't know about that. But cutting was a man's job; I don't think a woman could have done that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
So the men got paid more than the women.
JUNIE EDNA KAYLOR AARON:
I don't know as they got paid any more. In a lot of ways, I think it was about the same. The ones that done the turning was paid just, I imagine, according to what the sewers was, so they was paid by the hour( ). They was on hour work at first, and then they were put on piecework later.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What about accidents? Was it dangerous work at all?
JUNIE EDNA KAYLOR AARON:
Nothing only the cutting. I did see one fellow that got a finger cut off.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Just one in your career?
JUNIE EDNA KAYLOR AARON:
That's right. But the cutting was, I think, the most dangerous part of it. Of course, the women sometimes would run a needle through their finger. I done that, too. But then it really wasn't as dangerous as the cutting press.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What happened when you would run a needle through your finger?
JUNIE EDNA KAYLOR AARON:
You'd just run it through, and it was pulled out before you'd know it, if the machine was running, and you'd just have to put something on your finger.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You didn't have to go to the doctor.
JUNIE EDNA KAYLOR AARON:
No.