By Daniel J. Clark
Daniel Clark demonstrates the dramatic influence unionization made at the lives of cloth employees in Henderson, North Carolina, within the decade after global warfare II. concentrating on the Harriet and Henderson Cotton turbines, he exhibits that employees valued the fabric staff Union of the US for greater than the better wages and stronger advantages it secured for them. particularly, Clark issues to the significance participants put on union-instituted complaint and arbitration techniques, which so much exertions historians have noticeable as impediments instead of advancements. From the signing of contracts in 1943 until eventually a devastating strike fifteen years later, the union gave neighborhood staff the instruments they had to safe no less than a few degree of place of work autonomy and appreciate from their agency. Union-instituted criticism approaches weren't with out flaws, says Clark, yet they have been the linchpin of those efforts. whilst arbitration and complaint agreements collapsed in 1958, the end result used to be the strike that eventually broke the union. in keeping with whole entry to corporation files and transcripts of complaint hearings, this situation research recasts our realizing of labor-management relatives within the postwar South.
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Additional info for Like night & day: unionization in a southern mill town
But what would be the point of such rigid categorization? Other long-held assumptions about American labor have been under siege as well. In her study of waitress unionism, Dorothy Cobble has conveyed with great complexity the specific concerns of women who were in a craft union, as opposed to an industrial union. " This stereotype, however, bears little resemblance to what she discovered. 21 The story of Harriet and Henderson union members is especially remarkable considering the hostile climate in which they struggled.
Already well-positioned and profitable, Cooper's business flourished even more throughout the 1880s as bright-leaf tobacco production expanded westward. Thousands of farmers shifted to tobacco, often either hesitantly or unwillingly, hoping that a cash crop would be a source of financial independence. Each fall, many of them hauled their crops to Henderson. Cooper's warehouse was by far the town's largest, and Henderson became the main marketing center for tobacco farmers in fifteen surrounding counties.
Before the costs of assertiveness became clear to Harriet Mill workers, passionate hope for change had outweighed cold calculations of the probability of success. Failure and retaliation, however, forced workers to rethink. Perhaps the most revealing example of this powerful lesson in repression came seven years later, when tens of thousands of cotton mill workers throughout the South went out on strike. 72 Yet Harriet and Henderson workers did not stage even a brief walkout. 73 By no means were Henderson mill workers completely passive in 1934.
Like night & day: unionization in a southern mill town by Daniel J. Clark