8.3 An industry representative visits Loray Mills
"Richard H. Edmonds Pays Visit to Loray Mills." The Gastonia Daily Gazette, Gastonia, N.C., April 27, 1929, republished from the Charlotte Observer.
Richard H. Edmonds Pays Visit To Loray Mills
With an abundance of southern labor waiting to take jobs left by strikers, mill officials of this section have little to fear from strikers, said Richard H. Edmonds, editor of the Manufacturers’ Record of Baltimore, yesterday after making a study of the strike situation at Loray mills and other nearby manufacturing establishments.
Mr. Edmonds visited every department of the Loray mills yesterday, he said, and found that 1,147 people were at work out of a force of 1,150, which is employed when the mill is running full.
“There are plenty of strikers, but their jobs are all taken by people who are glad to work,” he said. Mr. Edmonds quoted the Loray officials as saying that they didn’t intend to hire any of the strikers again.
There doesn’t seem to be any real grievance,” according to Mr. Edmonds. “The strike leaders have just gotten a hold in a mill where labor conditions are worse than anywhere else in this locality, where the labor turnover is the heaviest in the section, and where the worst class of labor to be found anywhere near is located,” he declared.
This is a condition found in many places where the mill houses only a portion of the employees and the transient help rents from commercial landlords, in the opinion of Mr. Edmonds. The Loray management is now building a number of houses to do away with this condition.
Mr. Edmonds found the strikers well fed, he said, although no one knows how long the landlords are going to let them remain in their houses. Most of them are anxious to talk about their troubles and tell great stories of how there are many workers working for wages of from $6 to $9 on full time, but investigation shows that they are all making $10 to $15 and no concrete evidence of lower wages can be obtained, according to Mr. Edmonds.
Mr. Edmonds had little of complimentary nature to say about the strikers. One of them, he declared, “told me he’d just been released from an insane asylum before getting his job at Loray. Another, a woman, must have been vaccinated with a victrola needle—she had such a line of complaints to make.”
He described the crowds of strikers as a “cesspool of humanity” and said that Beal had badly misled them in a number of ways. Mr. Edmonds returned to Baltimore yesterday.