Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Lynda Ann Ewen

Second Advisor

Julia Fox

Third Advisor

Edwina Pendarvis

Fourth Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


The purpose of my study was to reach an understanding of gender relationships between union members at the Ravenswood Aluminum Corporation Plant, Ravenswood, West Virginia after the initial hiring of women during the early 70s. Specifically, I am interested in analyzing these relationships from the beginning of the women's employment. during a period of work stoppage created by a company lockout, and in the years following the labor dispute.

When the study started it was hypothesized that the issues, tactics and resources used by the women were different than those of the men at the work site. The studv of these female aluminum plant workers provided the chance to probe the interconnections between gender, work and protest for the women who stepped into occupations where jobs were highly classified by gender, race and ethnicity. I am finding the women upheld the same union attitudes, social and economic problems during the lockout as the men, who worked beside them at the plant. Both sexes stood side by side on the picket lines. The status of women at Ravenswood has strengthened since the 70s with women taking a more active role in union activities.

Ravenswood's rural Appalachian heritage lends itself to the stereotyping of uneducated, ill-mannered and sexist men from the region. The study reveals caring, educated and hardworking males willing to stand side-by-side the women of Ravenswood during the good economical times and the strife of a labor dispute.


Ravenswood Aluminum Company

Strikes and lockouts – Aluminum industry.

Women employees – Attitudes.

Work environment.