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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George and Tessie Dyer, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0161. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Family friends helped Tessie Dyer keep her mill job

A mill supervisor laid off Tessie Dyer in favor of a newer female employee, but she soon got her job back thanks to a friend of her father. Personal relationships helped her keep her position in the mill and get transferred to a new position when she preferred one.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George and Tessie Dyer, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0161. 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

LU ANN JONES:
Did you get upset when there were times where you were laid off? Didn't you worry about your job?
TESSIE DYER:
No, I knew that when things got better and started up, I'd go back to work. I do know one time I was laid off. I was supposed to work, and this other girl came in after I did, and he kept her and laid me off. So, the spinning room boss was a good friend of my father. He went to him and told him, says, "You better get that girl back in this mill. That's Mrs. Helms' daughter. She's never worked nowhere, only here." He sent out to me to come back to work.
GEORGE DYER:
Why did he lay you off and keep her?
TESSIE DYER:
I don't know, but he just did.
GEORGE DYER:
He favored her better than he did you. It's always been politics.
TESSIE DYER:
It was Everett Young's sister.
LU ANN JONES:
Is that right? Were there supervisors who showed favorites in the mill?
TESSIE DYER:
No, not too much, I don't think they did. I know my brother-in-law didn't. I worked for him.
LU ANN JONES:
So he didn't treat you any differently?
TESSIE DYER:
No, he didn't treat me any better than he did anybody else. He sure didn't.
LU ANN JONES:
What would happen if you had wanted to change jobs. Suppose you wanted to go to another part of the mill. How would you have gone about doing that?
TESSIE DYER:
Well, I wanted to go to the draw-in room, and I was in the spinning room. My father talked to the spinning room boss, and he got me on down there-got me on in the draw-in room, so I was just transferred down there. I didn't like the spinning room, all that lint. I didn't like it.
GEORGE DYER:
Dust too. There's a lot up where them spinning things.