Christina Kasprzak



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This interview is one of a series conducted with former employees of the Huntington Owens-Illinois, Inc. glass bottle factory. Mr. Frederick R. Bledsoe, born December 24, 1934, began working at the Owens glass factory in 1953 as a selector and later was promoted to machine operator. In this interview, Mr. Bledsoe discusses the details of the work he performed at the factory as well as opportunities for advancement and the hot, dirty, dangerous environment he worked in. He also talks about shift work, company-sponsored activities, race and gender discrimination, automation, downsizing, and worker-management relations. Mr. Bledsoe was Vice President of the mold makers' union for five years and then President for nine years. He discusses some of the details of those positions including the many grievances he handled and the union-company relations. Mr. Bledsoe tells about the September 1993 meeting he attended where he was informed of the company's intention to shutdown the Huntington facility. In December of 1993, Mr. Bledsoe was laid off along with approximately four hundred other factory employees.

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Library of Congress Subjects

Bledsoe, Frederick R., 1934- -- Autobiography.
Owens-Illinois, Inc. Glass Container Division (Huntington, W. Va.) -- Oral histories.
Owens-Illinois, Inc. Glass Container Division (Huntington, W. Va.). Retirees' Association -- Oral histories.
Glass container industry -- Huntington (W. Va.) -- Oral histories.
Shift systems -- Oral histories.


Interview is included in the Marshall University Oral History Collection. The index number is OH64-527.


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Oral History Interview: Frederick R. Bledsoe