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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Geddes Elam Dodson, May 26, 1980. Interview H-0240. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Resistance to unionization

Dodson's willingness to side with the mill owners against the flying squadron was not merely an intellectual choice. When one of his brothers-in-law had joined a union, he had been blackballed and unable to find work anywhere, endangering his wife and children. He describes his one experience with the union later in the interview.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Geddes Elam Dodson, May 26, 1980. Interview H-0240. 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

Well, I joined a union one time, and I seen I was wrong, and so I just fell out and turned agin them whenever I seen what was coming up to me. I had a family, and I had to work for them and all that. And I knew the trouble my brother-in-law had got in over here at Mills Mill when they had that strike over there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of trouble did he get in?
GEDDES ELAM DODSON:
He went to a union meeting one night, and they appointed him as head of the, to keep the books and everything. And so he lost his job and like to went crazy and couldn't get a job nowhere; he was blackballed.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did the company find out that he was in . . .
GEDDES ELAM DODSON:
They knew it. They didn't hide nothing. And then finally he lost his job, and he went all over the whole country and didn't eat nothing but maybe one little old sandwich a day, and he like to went crazy.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And no body would hire him because they . . .
GEDDES ELAM DODSON:
No body wouldn't hire him.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They had found out that he had joined the union.
GEDDES ELAM DODSON:
But they finally took him back at Mills Mill, because he was a good fellow. And he had to sign that paper, "I'll never put my signature to another union paper," and they hired him back.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was his name?
GEDDES ELAM DODSON:
John Calvin Amick. He married my sister Inez.