Rank and File


Jim Cole, Packing House Worker

Photo: caption follows

Surrogate image: Hormel meatpacking plant, Austin, Minnesota, 1941. John Vachon. Photograph, 1941.

Name:
Jim Cole
Ethnicity:
African-American
Occupation:
Packing House Worker
Location:
Chicago, Illinois
Date:
May 18, 1938
Interviewer:
Betty Burke

Interview Excerpt: "Where do you work in the packing house?"

Listen to Jim's response

"I'm working in the Beef Kill section. Butcher on the chain. Been in the place twenty years, I believe. You got to have a certain amount of skill to do the job I'm doing. Long ago, I wanted to join the AFL union, the Amalgamated Butchers and Meat Cutters, they called it, and wouldn't take me. Wouldn't let me in the Union. Never said it to my face, but reason of it was plain. Negro. That's it. Just didn't want a Negro man to have what he should. That's wrong. You know that's wrong."

Transcript #07050602


Choose a different excerpt from this topic:

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


Choose a different topic:

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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