Rank and File

Irving Fajans, Department Store Worker

Photo: caption follows

Surrogate image: New York, New York. December 1942. R. H. Macy and Company department store during the week before Christmas. Marjory Collins. Photograph, 1942. (LC-USW3-13113-D).
Irving Fajans
Department Store Employee
Union Headquarters, 112 E. 19th Street, New York City
February 1939
May Swenson

Interview Excerpt: "Were Macy's employees unionized when you worked there?"

Listen to Irving's response

"When I first started there [at Macy's], they were just beginning to try to organize, and everything pertaining to the union had to be on the q.t. If you were caught distributing leaflets or other union literature around the job you were instantly fired. We thought up ways of passing leaflets without the boss being able to pin anybody down. Sometimes we'd insert the leaflets into the sales ledgers after closing time...In the morning every clerk would find a pink sheet saying: 'Good Morning, how's everything...and how about coming to Union meeting tonight...' or something like that. Another idea we had--swiped the key to the toilet paper dispensers in the washroom, took out the paper and substituted printed slips of just the right size! We got a lot of new members that way--It appealed to their sense of humor."

Transcript #24020905

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Anna Novak, Packing House Worker | Jim Cole, Packing House Worker | Irving Fajans, Department Store Worker

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All in a Day's Work: Industrial Lore | Rank and File | Hard Times in the City: Testifying | Making Do: Women and Work

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