Interview with Taylor Rogers

I want you to think back to that first night, I guess it was a Sunday night. What was that, how did the strike start? What was that first meeting like?


Our first meeting was, you know, we was all concerned, we wanted to keep our jobs but we wanted some dignity, some decency out of it and, you know, we had tried and tried and T.O. Jones our president had talked and talked and did everything that he could to get the boss to try to see some of our grievances. Ah, we couldn't get anything done so we all met that Sunday night, and T.O. Jones decided to go up and talk to Blackburn who was the director and, ah, he couldn't get anything out of those people. And he came back and told us and that's when we decided we just wasn't going to take any more. And then the next morning there wasn't no work. And we, instead of meeting at our respective work places we met at this Firestone Rubber Hall Union on Firestone and we marched from there to City Hall where we talked with Henry Loeb and he was talking about his open door policies, "You don't need no union. I'll take care of you." We said back to him that, you know, "You haven't taken care, we don't want you to take care, all we want you to do is give us some decent dignity and some rights," you know. We didn't have any rights at all. The boss, whatever the boss said, that's what we had to do. We had no input in, in the working conditions or nothing. You know, whatever he said, that's what had to happen. Ah, and so we just got tired and, ah, you know had to work in the rain and that was one of the, really the main thing that, really set off the strike was that they wanted us to go out and work in the rain. And we decided we weren't going to go anymore. And then when we had our last meeting, when we had that meeting and all of that was in there and that was really what we were talking about and they wouldn't give us nothing on that so we just said we weren't going to take it anymore.