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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Robert Riley, February 1, 1994. Interview K-0106. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Employer resistance stifles unionization

Workers at White's voted in a union, but it never gained traction because the company's owners made it clear they did not intend to respond to union demands.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Robert Riley, February 1, 1994. Interview K-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

CHRIS STEWART:
Was there ever any kind of union organizing at either one of the plants?
ROBERT RILEY, SR.:
They voted a union in at one point in time and I don't know when that was, but it never was acted.
CHRIS STEWART:
Was that in Hillsborough?
ROBERT RILEY, SR.:
Well, what happened is that they voted it in at both plants, but it never was any good. They wanted to be operated under rules and regulations so it never was any good.
CHRIS STEWART:
Was it voted in when you were there?
ROBERT RILEY, SR.:
It was voted in during the time I first went there, but I think the White's let it be known that they weren't going to operate under any union rules and regulations, so what can you do?
CHRIS STEWART:
Do you remember hearing people who you worked with talk about it at all?
ROBERT RILEY, SR.:
Well, they talked a little bit about it, but I don't know whether the union was too strong. In other words, say when a union and a company start bucking one another somebody's got to show their true colors, so to speak. I don't know whether the union had any money or what the case may be, but never anything much came out of it. I think it was voted in at one point in time.