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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Flake and Nellie Meyers, August 11, 1979. Interview H-0133. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Favorable views of New Deal labor policies

Flake Meyers discusses his favorable views on the policy changes, notably the eight-hour law and Social Security, that occurred during Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency during the 1930s. Although Meyers explains later in the interview that he did not advocate for unionization, his support of labor policy demonstrates one way in which workers distinguished the benefits and consequences of regulation through different means.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Flake and Nellie Meyers, August 11, 1979. Interview H-0133. 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

PATTY DILLEY:
Do you remember when Roosevelt was in office?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
Oh, yes.
PATTY DILLEY:
And all these changes were made, the eight-hour law?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
A lot of changes then.
PATTY DILLEY:
What did you think about the eight-hour-a-day law and the minimum wage?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
I really thought they was better. I think it's better. And then they passed the Social Security law, and that was real good. It helps us out now. Of course, it's hard on you young people working.
PATTY DILLEY:
[Laughter] We're paying for the people now, I guess.
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
Yes. Our boys pays out so much in Social Security and texes. I wonder whether they'll ever get anything back; maybe they'll do away with it by the time they get old enough to draw it. But that was really good, that Social Security law. I don't know how you think about it.
PATTY DILLEY:
I think it's a good . . .
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
I think it was. And the eight-hour law was good.
PATTY DILLEY:
Did that cut down the hours that you worked at the plant?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
Yes. If you worked anything over eight hours, you got time and a half.
PATTY DILLEY:
Did it actually cut down any hours, or did you still work the same ten hours but you got time-and-a-half? Did they actually cut down on your hours?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
Yes, they did. A lot of times we was busy, they'd run ten hours, for which they'd have to pay time-and-a-half. And if you went in Saturday morning, you'd get time-and-a-half. If you worked anything over forty hours, you got time-and-a-half.
PATTY DILLEY:
When you were working those ten hours, did you work every hour you were in there, or were they a little bit more lenient about letting you take a break?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
We didn't get a break till . . .
PATTY DILLEY:
Till the eight-hour law.