By Timothy J. Minchin
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Additional info for Don't Sleep with Stevens!: The J. P. Stevens Campaign and the Struggle to Organize the South, 1963-1980 (New Perspectives on the History of the South)
The mills here were plastered with pictures of alleged bombings of cars and houses in Henderson,” reported organizer Joe Pedigo. But by the early 18 Chapter 1 1960s, with the Henderson dispute resolved, Chupka optimistically reasoned that the union would have a better chance. 30 Despite the committee’s recommendations, TWUA president William Pollock was initially reluctant to take on Stevens. “In developing the idea of a jointly financed southern textile organizing campaign with the IUD,” he wrote Chupka, “I had in mind Burlington.
P. ”35 Strategists overlooked evidence of Stevens’s vigorous opposition to organized labor, although it was clearly documented in their own files. ” Another report claimed that Stevens’s managers had a “bitter antiunion attitude” that had been illustrated well in the summer of 1951, when they had broken the strike at the Industrial Cotton Mills in Rock Hill. In the late 1950s the company had openly violated the National Labor Relations Act when its Roanoke Rapids workers had tried to organize. Passed in 1935, the NLRA had outlawed a wide range of “unfair labor practices,” including discharging workers because of their union activity, threatening to close a plant if workers voted for union representation, and refusing to bargain.
At a range of plants, both supervisors and loom fixers also reminded employees of the 1934 strike, stressing that the union had struggled to feed the strikers. ”41 The company linked unions with plant closures, particularly in the northern states. Again, workers were sent the message that the union threatened their economic security. At the start of every organizing drive, the company posted a notice that was drafted by Whiteford Blakeney, a notoriously antiunion attorney who was hired by Stevens to fight the campaign.