James Gordon Worley Interview

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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TRACI DRUMMOND: Good morning. This is Traci Drummond. I am in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with James Gordon Worley, who will -- you go by Gordon.

JAMES GORDON WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Welcome. And thank you for agreeing to do this oral-history interview. It will be added to the collections at Georgia State University Library’s Southern Labor Archives. And it will be part of the, uh, Archives at the IAM. So, today is March 20th. It is Wednesday. Um, thank you, for --

WORLEY: Well, thank you.

DRUMMOND: -- agreeing to, to participate in this.

WORLEY: Well, thank you. I’m honored.

DRUMMOND: Well, let’s get started with some basic information. Where and when were you born?

WORLEY: I was borned in White County --

DRUMMOND: Tennessee?

WORLEY: -- Tennessee, November the 27th of 1932.

DRUMMOND: OK. And you were born to [Taylor?] and [Belle?].

WORLEY: Yes.

DRUMMOND: Tell us a little bit about, um, them. Uh, what kind of work were they 1:00-- what kind of work did they do?

WORLEY: Uh, my dad, uh, basically, uh, worked, uh, in timber -- cutting timber, and, uh, wor-- uh, working his sawmills. And, uh, also, uh, uh, farmed. We had a small farm. Uh, my mother, uh, uh, was a garment worker.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Most of the years at -- in a shirt factory.

DRUMMOND: OK. In White County?

WORLEY: In White County. Uh, no, that was in Sparta, where she worked.

DRUMMOND: OK, in Sparta.

WORLEY: So, the shirt factory was in Sparta.

DRUMMOND: OK. And was she ever in a union there? Well, do -- was she ever --

WORLEY: Uh, no, they tried to organize a union there, after the war was over.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and they, uh -- they just never was, like, capable of doing it. They had a lot of people out, uh, picketing and, and everything.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

WORLEY: But, uh, they, they, they never managed to get the company to, uh, s -- 2:00uh, uh, sign a contract or come to a -- the table with them, and bargain. And, uh -- and, the efforts was finally just given up on.

DRUMMOND: Yeah. Did she have any stories about how the locals felt about it? Did they support a union, or --

WORLEY: Oh --

DRUMMOND: -- did they face opposition from the community about it?

WORLEY: Um, no, there was not -- uh, the only opposition they were having were from the businesses in White County, and, uh, they were very heavily supported by, uh, some, uh, of the, a mine -- uh, one local -- uh, it was from the United Mine Workers.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Because s -- uh, there were some of the ladies, that their husbands worked in the mines, that wanted the union, that was working in the shirt factory there. So --

DRUMMOND: OK. So, there were people in the community that understood how the union could, could help?

WORLEY: Oh, yes. Oh, yes, There were a -- uh, uh, most of the working people realized that a union would mean they would get better wages and working conditions and everything.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. And your -- and you said your dad worked in timber, but he was never part of a union?

3:00

WORLEY: Uh, no, no. But he saw -- he, he really believed in the unions.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. So, what was it like growing up there? I assume, if your parents had a little -- a small farm, you probably --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- started working on the farm --

WORLEY: Uh, uh --

DRUMMOND: -- pretty early?

WORLEY: Well, (laughter) about all they let me do was work in the garden --

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

WORLEY: Could go out, uh, and, and -- uh, and gather eggs --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- and feed the chickens --

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

WORLEY: -- and like that.

DRUMMOND: Mm, but that’s important work, yeah.

WORLEY: Yeah, well, but the -- Mom and Dad did all the rest of it.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK. And did you have any brothers or sisters?

WORLEY: I had one half-brother.

DRUMMOND: One half-brother.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: OK. And did you all grow up together?

WORLEY: Uh, only a few years.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Because, uh, he did not -- he, he -- I only can remember him living with us for about four or five years. Most of the time, he was, was -- lived with his daddy.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK. And was he older or younger?

WORLEY: He was older.

DRUMMOND: He was older than you?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Did you ever have any -- was that the only time you ever really knew him?

4:00

WORLEY: No, uh -- he, he s -- uh, served in, in the Navy, during World War II.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, after that, he, he g -- uh, got out. He came home. And he married a, a lady, or a girl from Cookeville, Tennessee. And he worked in Michigan in, uh, uh, in the job shops. And he was a machinist.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, got -- uh, got started, uh, after he got out of high school at a trade school in Cookeville at the, the TPI.

DRUMMOND: And what --

WORLEY: They intended --

DRUMMOND: What’s the name of that s -- I’m sorry, what’s the name of that city?

WORLEY: Cookeville?

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: He -- well, after he graduated from high school at Sparta, why, then he, uh, went to a trade school in, in the machinist trade at, uh, uh -- at Cookeville. It’s a -- it -- back then, it was called, uh, uh, Tennessee Pol -- Polytechnical Institute.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Now it’s called Tennessee Tech. And, uh, uh, from there, he, he -- when he graduated, uh, he had a, a, a, a job, and -- that he went to. And I don’t remember where that was at. And he worked. And, uh, then, uh, he went in 5:00the Navy, uh, after the war started. And, uh, then, when he got out of the Navy, he continued in the machinist trade. Uh, he worked in Cookeville and Michigan. And in, uh, 1950, he went to work at Y-12 for Union -- at Union Carbide.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, uh, he worked there until he died in 1972.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: In January of 1972. So, uh, I, I was around him, after I came to work here, in ’59.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Was him working here -- did that influence your decision to, to come here and work, and join --

WORLEY: Oh --

DRUMMOND: -- the union.

WORLEY: Oh, well, that, uh, had a little bit of bearing on it. But, uh, I had, uh, worked in Nashville when I got out of the Navy, in Nation-- at National Machinist Supply. And, uh, some of the people that, uh, were -- uh, was active from the Nashville -- in Tennessee State Council of Machinists -- worked there. And when I got in the union here, and, uh, got elected to a, an office, and went 6:00down there at those meetings, why, I saw those people again, (laughter) and through the years.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, uh, uh, so, uh -- I just, uh -- I got tired of Detroit.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And didn’t like it up there.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And so, uh, uh, I, uh, uh -- they were hiring machinists here. And, uh, I interviewed, uh, in, in ’58. Uh, but I put -- placed my application in. I didn’t get interviewed until after they settled the strike.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Then I got interviewed in, uh -- and in -- and got a job, and, uh, my clearance came through, and I went to work in ’59.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK. Well, let’s back up a little bit, and go back to you. So, when you weren’t helping bring in the eggs or work in the garden, what was it like growing up? Were you in a, a rural area? Did you all have a lot of, uh -- a lot of land, or some land, or -- ? And --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm, yeah.

DRUMMOND: And what was school like?

WORLEY: We were -- yes, we were in a rural area.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

7:00

WORLEY: And, uh, all of the -- uh, the road were graveled. We didn’t have electricity until right before the war was over. And, uh, I went to, uh -- my elementary school I went to was in a little place called [Doeville?]. And, and, uh, uh -- the summertime, out of school, was, uh, uh, to do -- you helped in, uh, the gardens, or you helped around the house with what you could do, and ride the bicycles.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, you --

DRUMMOND: On gravel? Ride bicycles on gravel?

WORLEY: On gravels. And you had a lot of skinned arms and knees. (laughter) And, uh, uh, uh -- and it’s what you -- with the kids that -- we lived close to, there’s things you could think of to, to do, to play and occupy your time.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Wander through the fields. There was a river close by, and in the summertime, we could go down there and swim.

DRUMMOND: And that -- unsupervised?

WORLEY: Unsupervised.

DRUMMOND: Nobody worried about you.

WORLEY: Nobody back -- because, uh, uh, either their -- uh, the mothers were working in shirt factories and, and, and their daddies was working at a sawmill or something, or they were farming.

8:00

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So, they just wanted the kids gone?

WORLEY: What?

DRUMMOND: They just wanted the kids gone, so they could get work done.

WORLEY: Well, uh, well, you, you just had to, uh, uh, uh, take care of yourself there, you know? There was food -- everybody had food at home you could get to.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

WORLEY: And, and, and everything. And so, you just, sort of, babysitted yourself.

DRUMMOND: OK. Um, well, uh -- and then, how, how far did you through -- did you finish high school?

WORLEY: I finished high school, and I went to a college for a short time.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: At a -- in Nashville, at a -- to a business college.

DRUMMOND: OK. What were you hoping -- what were the expectations for you, growing up in a -- in a rural -- a rural area, with parents who were blue-collar workers? Was the expectation that you would get a job, or go into the military, or, or did they really push you to go to college?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Um, what, what were the expectations?

WORLEY: Well, they, they really wanted me to, uh, go to college.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Uh, they wanted me to go and get -- to get some kind of training, to, to 9:00have a, a job better than what they had.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Was it --

WORLEY: And do better than what they did.

DRUMMOND: Was it more of a trade school?

WORLEY: It wa -- it -- uh, it -- no, it was a, a -- if you could have finished it, uh, you would have been a, a, a public accountant, or you could have been a CPA --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- if you could get that high. And, uh -- but, uh, see, I was only there for, uh, about, uh, maybe less than a year. And I became 18 years old, and was eligible for the draft --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- during the Korean conflict.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And I, I didn’t want to -- although my dad was a World War I veteran, I did not want to go in the Army.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: So, I joined the Navy.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And that ended that college career, and I went and got in the Navy. Why, then I, uh, uh, kind of, picked up from -- that my half-brother was a -- had 10:00done good as a machinist, and that -- and they all -- in the schools, they offered me this training. I picked, uh -- the one to go to machinist school, and train to be a machinist.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And so, when I finished that school -- that’s in San Diego --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- why, then I -- the rest of the time I worked in a machine shop. These are, uh, uh, at, uh, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, where the World War II submarines were at.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: We had -- well, had a yard repair barge there that had a machine shop in it. And I worked in that until I was transferred to, uh, Brooklyn, New York, and went aboard the USS Hornet, that was going back into commission.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and, of course, the Hornet had a real nice machine shop on it. And I spent the rest of the time in my career in the Navy on that ship.

DRUMMOND: OK. Um, so -- and then, you were in the Navy from ’51 to ’55.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: And, when you first left to go -- I guess you had to go through basic training before you did any of that stuff?

WORLEY: Oh, yeah. Oh, yes.

DRUMMOND: Where, where did -- where did they send you? Did they send you to -- is that when you went to San Diego, for basic training?

WORLEY: I, I went to San Diego for basic training.

11:00

DRUMMOND: And what was that like, being so far from home for the first time?

WORLEY: Uh, well, you didn’t hardly have time to think much about that, (laughter) because they -- uh, uh, your day was planned --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- for all day long. And, and, also, too, in, in, in, uh -- they had -- they had us to stand watches around the barracks. You didn’t have to stand every night --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- but, uh, you, uh -- you know, so, you, you was just too busy to think about being homesick or lonesome or anything.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. And then, um, the, the naval base you were talking about -- was that also out in California?

WORLEY: Uh, the -- the training ce-- yeah, the, the, the San Diego --

DRUMMOND: I’m sorry, yeah.

WORLEY: -- Naval Base had, uh, recruit training --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- and they also had the machinist school there, and I think some other schools that was on that base, too.

DRUMMOND: OK. And how long were you in California?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm. I -- well, I left to go, uh, uh, from ’51 to, uh, ’53.

12:00

DRUMMOND: And then you went to --

WORLEY: And then I -- that’s when I went aboard the Hornet.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: I was transferred to Brooklyn, New York. It was being back into commission.

DRUMMOND: From a warm, sunny --

WORLEY: To a cold place up there.

DRUMMOND: Great weather. Yeah. How -- what was that? What did that mean to you?

WORLEY: Yeah, well, when we -- when we first g -- arrived there, we had to stay in a barracks. And it -- and that was in the summertime, in, uh, July.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And it was hot. No air conditioning.

DRUMMOND: Mm.

WORLEY: And it -- and so -- and I’ll tell -- and, and it was hot until the weather changed.

DRUMMOND: OK. And then you went aboard the Hornet.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: And you were just on the submarine.

WORLEY: Yeah, well --

DRUMMOND: It was a submarine?

WORLEY: No, uh, the Hornet’s an aircraft carrier.

DRUMMOND: And aircraft carrier.

WORLEY: OK.

DRUMMOND: And you were just -- and you were just on it.

WORLEY: Yeah. Only until --

DRUMMOND: Until, until --

WORLEY: We moved aboard it in August, and had commission in, in September.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, from there, we, uh, went, uh, on a shakedown cruise down into the Caribbean. Came back --

DRUMMOND: What’s a shakedown cruise?

WORLEY: Well, it was, uh, to training of --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- of everything, you know, for -- where your general-quarters stations 13:00was, and what your duties were, you know, with that, and everything. And, uh -- and they trained -- and our group was training of launching and recovering aircraft. And when we came back, then, to, uh, uh, Norfolk, why, uh, they, uh, put, uh -- brought ammunition and stuff aboard, and brought our group aboard. And, and we left there, and, and we had to go through the Atlantic to get, uh, uh, to the Pacific. I went down through the Mediterranean, and down through, through the Suez Canal and out into the Pacific, because the ship wouldn’t go through the Panama Canal. It was -- had been remodeled from World War II.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And it wouldn’t go through the locks. And so, we, uh -- the rest of the time, we operated, uh, up and down the Sea of Japan, and between Japan and China, and around Korea, and through there.

DRUMMOND: What was that like?

WORLEY: Why, it was wonderful. It was a world cruise.

DRUMMOND: Yeah?

WORLEY: Saw a lot of countries. You know, it’s -- you --

DRUMMOND: Did you -- did you get to stop and spend time off the --

WORLEY: Oh, yes, we --

DRUMMOND: -- car -- off the -- ?

14:00

WORLEY: Yeah, we, uh -- we would -- while we were operating there, we would either go into the Philippines to Manila for weekends, for a few days off, or into Yokosuka, Japan, for a few days off.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, then, in, uh, December of 1954, why, we headed back to the United States.

DRUMMOND: OK. And how long did it take to get from New York to, to where you were -- where -- to your final destina -- how long -- ?

WORLEY: It seems like, to me, the best I can remember, when we left, uh, New York -- when we left, uh, Norfolk --

DRUMMOND: Oh, I’m sorry.

WORLEY: -- heading through the Atlantic, it seemed like it took somewhere around 12 days or something, until we got to Lisbon, Portugal. And that was our first port we stopped at.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And had, uh, weekend liberties there. And then, we went to, uh, Naples, Italy. Had some liberty there. And then -- and on down through the Suez Canal, 15:00and the first (inaudible) there was at, uh -- in Ceylon. And I think that’s called a different country now.

DRUMMOND: Sri Lanka.

WORLEY: And, uh, from there we went, uh, out into the, uh, uh, Pacific, and had a short break in Singapore.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And then crossed the equator, got to go through that, un, initiation to be a shellback.

DRUMMOND: What’s that?

WORLEY: That’s when you cross the, uh, equator. You’re called a shellback.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And it’s, uh, quite an initiation, and a, a, a -- an old custom of the Navy.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And they still do it.

DRUMMOND: OK. Well, what’s, what’s the -- can you talk about what they do?

WORLEY: Oh, well, it’s a lot -- uh, yes, uh, uh, it was -- it was -- it’s, it’s, it’s just got a lot of fun. Uh, the oldest shellback, uh, on the ship is, uh, King Neptune Rex. And he takes control of everything when you’re --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, uh, all of that is going on, and you’re crossing the equator, and, uh -- you, you usually have to, uh, uh, uh, run a, a line of, of, uh, uh -- that 16:00the -- all of the shellbacks have a, a, little shillelagh-like thing, so they’d, kind of, pop you on the behind. (laughter) Then -- and go through a, a, a big old tub of, of, of water.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and just a lot of different things. Uh, they may have you dress funny for a day, uh, you know? And, uh, a lot of the pilots, they had them with, uh, uh, their ties on, without a shirt.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and, uh, just, uh, things like that.

DRUMMOND: OK. That sounds like a lot of fun.

WORLEY: Oh, it was. It was a lot of fun. (laughter) Yeah, and everything, yeah.

DRUMMOND: Very good. Um, and you said, then, uh -- you said until fifty -- December of ’53, and then you all headed home?

WORLEY: No, I said -- head-- in, in November -- December of ’54 --

DRUMMOND: Yeah, I’m sorry -- ’54.

WORLEY: -- we headed home.

DRUMMOND: OK.

17:00

WORLEY: And, uh, we got back to the United States, Dec -- I think a day or two before Christmas.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Before the holidays.

DRUMMOND: Did you all come around the United States and go back to Norfolk, or did you -- ?

WORLEY: No, no, we came in, and, uh -- and, uh, went to, uh, Alameda Naval Air Base, and there -- and there, they unloaded the air group. Took the planes off -- part of the planes flew off while, while we were still at sea.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: But they took, uh, part -- the planes off, and all of the air group people left.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: They worked with the air group and everything. And, uh, then we went down to San Diego, and, uh -- and we were in San Diego, uh, and we -- uh, and I left the ship. We didn’t go -- we didn’t go out to sea any while we were there. The -- they were, uh, uh, making plans to do some modernization to the ship.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, I left it in March, and got discharged.

DRUMMOND: OK. And returned --

WORLEY: And it’s, uh -- what?

DRUMMOND: Oh, I’m sorry, what were you going to say?

18:00

WORLEY: And, and now, the ship is a museum at, uh, Alameda Naval Air Station.

DRUMMOND: Have you been out to visit it?

WORLEY: Uh, yes, I’ve been on it once. Uh, and, uh, I hope to go back this year. And, uh, it’s, a, a real old, historical ship. It -- for 18 months in World War II, it was in battle. It never did anchor. It was at sea all the time.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, it holds the record for a, a lot of aircraft shot down.

DRUMMOND: Really?

WORLEY: And by the air groups, and by the ship. It, it was under attack 59 times by Japanese aircraft, and never took a hit.

DRUMMOND: Wow.

WORLEY: And it’s -- was -- the ship -- it’s -- it was named in honor of the old Hornet CV-8 that Jim -- Jimmy Doolittle flew off of, to bomb Tokyo, in 1942.

DRUMMOND: I see. I see. OK. That’s very interesting. I’m glad we talked about that. That’s interesting.

WORLEY: Well, I, I got a little of the history of the -- of those two ships.

19:00

DRUMMOND: Yeah. And after that, you were sent -- you went -- you came back to Tennessee?

WORLEY: I came back to Tennessee, and, uh, I spent a, a, a, a -- I just, uh, took a little break and, and -- around home with my mother, because my father was -- had passed away. And, um -- and my first job was at, uh, Nashville Machine Supply, in Nashville.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And I worked there until -- done in ’55. And, uh, I got married. And after I got married, why, uh, I left there, and went to Michigan, and went to work. And I worked in a few -- some -- a few job shops in Michigan.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And I wasn’t too crazy about Detroit City. (laughter) It --

DRUMMOND: It’s not for everybody.

WORLEY: No, it’s not for everybody. And so, uh, uh, we came back to, to Tennessee for a while. And, uh, I worked a few diff-- a few odd -- different jobs, and stuff, around for a while. And then, uh, the opportunity arose to go work at, uh, Oak Ridge.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And so, uh, I came to Oak Ridge.

DRUMMOND: And --

WORLEY: And I’ve been here in East Tennessee ever since.

20:00

DRUMMOND: And that was ’59?

WORLEY: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. So, um -- and you had never -- had you ever been a member of any union before then?

WORLEY: Yes, I --

DRUMMOND: In your time in -- your time in Detroit?

WORLEY: Yeah, I belonged to UAW when I was in Michigan working.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK. So, you had a little experien -- and your broth -- your half-brother was --

WORLEY: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: -- was there?

WORLEY: Oh, yeah -- in Oak -- yeah, he was at Oak Ridge.

DRUMMOND: He, he was down here?

WORLEY: Yeah, and --

DRUMMOND: OK. OK.

WORLEY: Yeah, he came back from, uh, uh, Michigan, in, uh, I think, about ’48, or something like that.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, worked in a, a machine shop in Cookeville, Tennessee -- somewhere in that neighborhood. And then in, in 1950, he came to work at Oak Ridge.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and when he came to work, they, they -- we -- they didn’t have the union at, at Y-12. They only had it at X-10.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and he was there, uh, when they organized the union.

21:00

DRUMMOND: And you were back -- so, you were back in Tennessee, in Oak Ridge, by 1959, working in the -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, I went to work in a -- in, in, in, in Oak -- in Y-12, from 1959 -- June of 1959.

DRUMMOND: And, um, tell me about, um, the early days of coming back to work here.

WORLEY: Here in Oak Ridge?

DRUMMOND: Yeah. Where -- what, what were you doing? What did they -- can you talk about what they had you doing?

WORLEY: Oh, well, um -- not much for the first few years, uh, because, uh, I was in a, uh, restricted area.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, or I guess you would call it restricted anyway. But in, uh, uh, nineteen and sixty-three. After the contract negotiations was over, uh, they said that, uh, I -- when I hired in, I hired in as a machine specialist. And, of 22:00course, that paid more than I was making somewhere else. And, uh, they, uh, got a clause in the contract that said I -- for you, had worked as -- eight years, you, you would be promoted to a standard machinist. And, uh, with my job-shop experience that I had, I got transferred out of that, uh, production area to the general machine shop, which was, uh, uh, Alpha -- what they called Alpha One. It was -- that was a, a -- the building was 9201-1. And, uh, it’s -- uh, and there, that work down there was, uh, more like a job shop. It was fixtures, jigs, dies, and, and just one-time things like that.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And it was in –- ver -- uh, ver -- I don’t -- very little, uh, 23:00classified work was done down there, uh, until they brought the Seawolf project in.

DRUMMOND: And what year was that?

WORLEY: I don’t remember the -- it, it, it was in the ’90s, when they got that j -- the Seawolf job.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Because, uh, it was still going on when I retired at the end of ’94. But, uh, uh -- and I worked on it, uh, uh, a lit -- a, a, a little bit. Uh, and, uh -- but, uh, I -- then, I was transferred up to a, a building -- uh, 9204-3, which is the building where they separated stable isotopes.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And that building was ran by the chem-tech division of X-10. And I worked in a -- the shop there by -- in the machine shop by myself. And I would make parts for the cal-- you know, that was used in the calutrons to separate stable isotopes.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, stable isotopes were little -- like, for ones they would, would 24:00put in your veins, to check for blockages, and, you know --

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK.

WORLEY: -- and medical stuff, and like that.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. Um, well, let’s go back and talk about -- because you started working in ’59, and you --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- joined the union by 1960.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Was it, um -- was, was there ever -- because I know that it’s a open shop?

WORLEY: Was it what?

DRUMMOND: It -- that, that the labs were open shop. That it was --

WORLEY: Uh, uh, well, well, they -- it, it -- in the state of Tennessee, you don’t have to belong to the union.

DRUMMOND: Right, right.

WORLEY: But all of -- nearly all of the people at -- belonged to the union. And the p-- the procedure, while -- that, uh, I was not initiated until 1960 -- was... Normally, the procedure that, uh, the unions would do is, they would say, “When your 90 days is over, you sign a check-off card, and after, when we take out enough money for your initiation, then we -- you’re b-- become a member. So, that’s what led to that.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Because you had three months of, uh -- of, uh, probationary, and it -- 25:00and then they took the other, uh, months of taking de-- uh, money from my check, to pay my initiation fee. And that’s why I was not in, in the union until, uh, February of, uh, ’60.

DRUMMOND: OK. And -- but you -- there was no question that you would join the union?

WORLEY: Oh, no, there, there was never any --

DRUMMOND: That you, you wanted to -- ?

WORLEY: -- because, see, I had worked under U -- a, a UAW in Michigan. And that was a closed shop.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: You belonged to the union or you didn’t work.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

WORLEY: So, you know, I had the union orientation a little bit in me, then.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, yeah. OK. Um, and what was it like working through -- because I know that you got to work on some interesting projects in the ’60s?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Um, and -- but maybe the only one we can really talk about is --

WORLEY: Uh, well, I’ll -- uh, in the, uh -- I guess it was, probably, uh, uh, in the late ’60s or, uh, uh -- that they started the, uh -- the project, uh, 26:00to, uh, build the containers to, uh, bring samples back from the moon, for the Apollo program.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And I was -- I worked on the, uh -- on that program a lot. Did a lot of work on, on the -- what we always called them -- the moon boxes.

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

WORLEY: They were going to the moon. And, and that was real interesting. And, um -- because they -- this -- the things, uh, that you had to go through with, uh (clears throat) -- excuse me. Uh, put my straps on. They had to have -- how you had that -- they had, uh, uh -- well, that they used instruments on them, and there had to be a certain amount of pressure. It was all they had -- that they could allow, to close them.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Because they didn’t know -- uh, on the moon, you -- you’re going to be in a, a -- an atmosphere, uh, you know? And where it’s not going to l -- be an atmosphere like you’re on earth.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: So, they had to get that down, so -- to make sure the astronauts would 27:00be able to close it up there, and, and that --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- type of things. And they had sensors on it that could tell how much heat it was exposed to going and coming back. Uh --

DRUMMOND: Oh, interesting.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: What was it made of? What --

WORLEY: It was made -- it was -- they -- it was all made from a solid block of aluminum.

DRUMMOND: OK. Why’d -- what were some of the, maybe, considerations they had when coming up with this? I mean, the, the box -- like, uh, what -- because you said that they had to be aware of temperatures, and they had to be --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- aware of the, um, atmo -- you know, the atmosphere on the mo-- and the lack of gravity, and --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- things like that. Um, what were -- can -- were there other, uh, specifications they needed for -- ?

WORLEY: Well, I th -- yes, uh, uh, because they -- it, uh, uh -- they wanted a, a light weight --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- which has strength to it. And that’s why they -- the lead and, uh, the, the -- a box part all were machined out, where they left ribs in them.

28:00

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and all -- um, you know, that, and, and -- up to, to take -- uh, they didn’t know for sure how much heat it was going to be exposed to, uh --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- going up in -- through the atmosphere to get to the moon, and, and what things would be like. But they knew, uh, that once they were on the moon with them, they wanted stuff that was light enough that the astronauts could move it and handle it and everything like that.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: You know?

DRUMMOND: How many were made?

WORLEY: I don’t have any idea, because they would have made a lot that were samples, that the astronauts trained with.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, uh, I believe there was -- I think they took two on each mission.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and there was -- and -- how many mi -- of -- seven or eight missions to the moons, weren’t they?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

WORLEY: So there, there was a lot of them made.

DRUMMOND: OK. Uh, do you all have -- are there any here on display in Oak Ridge, at any of the museums, or are they all -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, they’re on -- why, I know they’re on display in, uh, the Smithsonian.

DRUMMOND: OK.

29:00

WORLEY: But, uh, not here in Oak Ridge.

DRUMMOND: OK. Were there worried that, um, the, the box needed to stay sealed? That -- were they worried about bringing something back that might contaminate?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm. Yes, they had -- uh, it had two types of seals on it. Uh, uh, one of them was a Teflon washer that, that (clears throat) -- excuse me -- that it sealed going up.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And once they filled it, the Teflon washer was taken off, and, and discar -- discarded. I don’t know what they did with it. And then, it had a, a lead seal that, uh, uh -- that, uh, was -- there was lead -- was placed in the groove on the bottom of the box, and the lead was cut -- uh, sealed in a manner that was sharp, and penetrated down in that, to seal it coming back.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK, but nothing, nothing happened?

WORLEY: Nothing happened.

DRUMMOND: Uh, yeah.

WORLEY: Everything went OK.

30:00

DRUMMOND: Great. And so, it must be exciting to know that some of your work was --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- involved in such important missions --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- for the United States?

WORLEY: Oh, yes, yes. That’s, that’s just a lot of good memories of that --

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

WORLEY: -- that. That it -- at the time, you didn’t think about it like that, you know?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: When -- but, uh, it was. It was a lot of good memories.

DRUMMOND: And, uh, can you talk about anything else you all were doing here in the six -- I mean, I, I know -- I, I just know that you had -- it -- there were a lot of things that are, maybe, still considered top secret then.

WORLEY: Uh, the, the, the only thing that, uh -- that, uh -- that I ever remember working on or seeing in, in the -- in the general machine shop -- we -- everybody -- like, we all called it the big shop -- uh, was the, uh, Seawolf program.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. And that is something you can’t really --

WORLEY: Yeah, that’s something on to –- n -- no, but, uh, uh, they told us, when we were retiring, that, uh -- and even before --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- when that was -- project was started. They, they were, were all -- everybody in the building was indoctrinated that that was a top-secret --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

31:00

WORLEY: -- project, and we were not to talk about what it was and what it did, or anything like that.

DRUMMOND: What was it like working, and not really being able to go home and, you know, complain about work, really, because -- I guess you could complain about the people, but you couldn’t, you know --

WORLEY: Uh, well, you know, you just didn’t -- uh, uh, the subject didn’t come up, uh, with your family, you know, much, at all. Uh, and, uh, in, uh, nineteen and sixty-four or somewhere along in there, uh, my wife went to work for DOE. And she --

DRUMMOND: D-O -- ?

WORLEY: De -- Department of Energy.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: They called -- but then, it was, uh, uh, Atomic Energy Commission.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. OK.

WORLEY: Then, later, it became, uh, Energy Research and Development. And then, became the Department of Energy.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, uh, where she worked, uh -- she worked at the Office of Scientific and Technical Information. And she had a security clearance, too.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: So, it -- and she was -- you know, she came in to the plants for 32:00different things, on projects where she was involve with, or at -- where she worked. She would -- she became the building manager out there.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and everything. So, she had a security clearance. She’d come in Y-12 or X-10 -- either one.

DRUMMOND: Yeah. OK. So, the, the whole -- the whole community just didn’t ask, because they knew you couldn’t really talk --

WORLEY: Yes, yes.

DRUMMOND: -- and --

WORLEY: Yes, and, and she never asked me about some of the stuff I did, and I never asked her --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- you know, because, uh -- well, you know, we just, uh, had other things to enjoy and do other than --

DRUMMOND: Right.

WORLEY: -- talk about work, you know?

DRUMMOND: Yeah, well, fair enough. That’s a good way to not come home and talk about work all the time. (laughter)

WORLEY: Right, that’s right.

DRUMMOND: OK, and so, you didn’t really get involved in the union, uh, until the early ’70s --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- when you -- when you became the chief steward.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: So, were you ever a steward before chief steward?

WORLEY: Yes, I was.

DRUMMOND: Or -- OK.

WORLEY: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: You, you, you did. And why did you -- why did you decide to get involved?

33:00

WORLEY: Well, I, I was a shop steward there in F-1, in the, uh, uh, shop that I was working in. And, uh -- and, and all, all -- and it -- and, of course, I’d been in the building for a while, and kn -- and knew everybody all over the building. And just several people, uh, just kept asking me to, uh, get involved and run for chief steward.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and so, I said OK. And then, of course, once I became chief steward, and the more -- the longer in there, the more involved I got, and the more I wanted to do. And, uh -- and then they, kind of, s -- slipped -- shoved me there in 1976. Then, they elected me treasurer of the local. And I didn’t (laughter) -- that was a surprise. I didn’t know they was going to pull that on me. (laughter) The other -- the other man was giving the job up --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- and, and everything. And I, I really didn’t want it. But I, I did 34:00it for that one year.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And from there on, you know, I just, uh, uh stayed involved and, uh, uh, I, I was not doing anything from, uh, starting in nineteen and eighty-two, until I was elected recording secretary then, in, uh, ’86 -- ’85, and started serving in ’86. And since then, I’ve held some, some position.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK.

WORLEY: Of a, a, a -- of an off -- in an officer’s capacity, ever since.

DRUMMOND: OK. So, um, let’s talk about some of the strikes that happened during those early years.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: You were here for the 1963 strike.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Was that the first time you’d ever been on -- ?

WORLEY: That -- yeah, that was the first strike that I was ever on -- was that one there, in the ’60s.

DRUMMOND: OK. And what was that like, being on the -- ?

WORLEY: Well, I was new here, you know? And, uh -- and everything. It wasn’t much. I just, uh (clears throat) -- I walked -- uh, stood my picket duty. And, and that was about it. And, uh, uh, then, in, uh, 1970 (clears throat), I, I ca 35:00-- I spent my -- most of my time, uh, working in, in the union hall.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, we -- and taking stuff out to the picket lines. So, like, water, coffee, and, uh -- and that. And, uh, uh, let’s see -- I believe, in ’70, we was out 10 weeks.

DRUMMOND: Mm. That’s a long strike.

WORLEY: Yeah, uh-huh. And, uh, then, uh, I think our, our next one was, uh, ’81, and, and I was chief steward then. And I -- we -- and I just, uh, uh, walked picket and, and would, uh -- and, and, like, take stuff out to the picket lines for the, uh, people, and stuff like that.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And hung around the union hall, you know, pretty much all day, then.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Because there’s a lot of things to do.

DRUMMOND: Um --

WORLEY: In ’87 --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- I was an officer.

DRUMMOND: OK.

36:00

WORLEY: And, uh, uh -- all -- uh, we did, uh, 12 hours -- well, all of us officers did in the -- in the union hall down here, keeping the union hall going, and checking that the people come in to walk pickets -- their names, to make sure they walked their picket, so they got their strike check.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: (clears throat) And, uh, uh, then, uh, I think that was the last -- the last strike we’ve had, I believe, was in ’87.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: I think that was 15 weeks.

DRUMMOND: Now, prior to 1980, um -- well, let me ask this: was your wife, by any chance, involved with the Ladies’ Auxiliary?

WORLEY: No, no, she never was.

DRUMMOND: Right, she wasn’t. OK. Um, but the, the Ladies Auxiliary was pretty active? The, the --

WORLEY: Oh, it was very active --

DRUMMOND: -- “Atomettes.”

WORLEY: -- when I first came here, yes.

DRUMMOND: The Atomettes, which, I think, is --

WORLEY: Yes, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: -- is the best name. Um, were -- how did they participate in strikes? Were they -- ?

WORLEY: The only -- the, uh, uh, uh -- I, I don’t know what they did in that -- the ’61 or sixty-- which was that --

DRUMMOND: Sixty-three.

WORLEY: Sixty-three.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

37:00

WORLEY: I don’t remember that they -- uh, uh, much about that, except because of -- that was the first strike I was in -- involved in here. And, uh, I just came and walked my picket and everything like that.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and wasn’t involved, uh, with that or anything, you know? In, uh, the, uh, ’70 -- I don’t recall -- well, they, they may have been doing some things, but I don’t remember them -- anything that -- right off, that they did heavily.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And I -- they really -- where they really shined was in 1958, when, when they had the wildcat strike. And, uh, the company got an injunction against the -- all of the machinists, and if they were seen, two of them together, why, they could be arrested. And, uh, the ladies walked the picket line, and they stirred up more disturbance (laughter) in the -- than the men ever dreamed of doing.

DRUMMOND: Right. I think that that is a, a great role that the Ladies’ Auxiliary has played in the past --

WORLEY: (clears throat) Yeah.

DRUMMOND: -- that, maybe --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- we don’t hear as much about.

WORLEY: No, you don’t hear much about that one, and, uh -- but, uh, uh, uh, uh, a, a few of us that, uh, have gotten involved there in the early time, they 38:00knew -- or, was aware of what they had done --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- and everything. And, uh, I was aware of it, because, uh, I was visiting my half-brother while they was on strike. And, uh, uh -- and his wife was involved in it. And, uh, uh, uh, that’s when I sent in an application to, uh, uh -- for a job. And then, when I was interviewed later --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- after the strike was over, and that’s when -- and got hired.

DRUMMOND: OK. Um, what was it like being re-- being elected recorded secretary in ’86?

WORLEY: Well, it -- why, that was a new -- a new thing for me.

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

WORLEY: Uh, I had never done much note-taking, but, uh, at -- then, we had a full-time secretary. And I used her recorder.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And we recorded everything. So, she -- because she typed her minutes up for our -- us. And, and, and I think you have seen some copies of them, at --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

39:00

WORLEY: Where they were put in the books, that she did, and everything. And, and she was a big help to me, uh, doing that job there, you know? And so, you -- I, I, I, I guess caught up into it well enough. You know, you pick up the highlights of who makes the motions and who seconds it, and --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and unless it’s some kind of real controversial discussion --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- you didn’t have to write all that up, you know, and everything. And then, even when it was, why, she had the min-- the tape recorder that had the -- it on that -- that, so she could hear that, and then -- and help word it up. So --

DRUMMOND: OK. Um, so, you did that from ’86 to ’91. And somewhere in there, you became president. Nine --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm. Well, vice president.

DRUMMOND: Vice president.

WORLEY: I, I filled in vice president for a, a, a year about -- a year and a half, or something like that.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And then ran for the job in ’91 -- on, on -- and was elected in ’91.

DRUMMOND: OK. And --

WORLEY: And I was elected in ’91, and started serving in ’92.

40:00

DRUMMOND: So, you started serving in ’92.

WORLEY: Yeah, uh-huh. Yeah.

DRUMMOND: And what was it like moving from recording secretary to -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, uh, well, it wasn’t a whole a lot, because, you know, you, you, you sat on -- you know, in -- on the executive board, and, you know, our officers really, uh, uh -- are in here, uh, running the union.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Not in negotiations or grievances and stuff, out in the plant.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: That’s the stewards’ jobs, you know?

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, uh, so -- you know, you’re -- if you’re -- spent some time on the executive board, then you, you, you’re pretty well familiar with all of the different jobs that, uh, different officers do, and everything, you know?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: So it -- that -- it, it wasn’t a big, uh, deal, changing from recording secretary to president.

DRUMMOND: You -- because you’re really just there to make sure things get moving, keep moving --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- and that the people --

WORLEY: Yes, mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- who are doing the work have sup-- the support they need to get their job done, essentially?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm. Yes. Yeah, and they -- it’s a -- uh, I, I always felt like it was a great honor to have served on the -- as an officer, in, in the local union.

41:00

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Well, and, and in the time you served, were there ever any controversies or -- not so much controversies, I guess. Were there ever any, um -- were members -- did, did you always have -- well, did you always have strong membership showing up at meetings? Did you always have, um, people who were here consistently? Did you always have good turnout? That is what I’m trying to say. Did you always have good turnout at the meetings, or did that change over time, or -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, yes, it changed over time, uh, as, uh, we lost members from layoffs --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- in the plants, and everything. You didn’t have the, the, the numbers that you would normally have had, when you had them all there.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And the, uh -- and, and there was always -- uh, not every meeting, but there was meeting where people had questions about certain things that was happening in the plant. And you always wanted to, uh, give them the opportunity, 42:00if you were chairing the meeting, to ask the questions and get an ans -- some kind of an answer from the proper people -- the spoke-- you know, that should answer it --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- the business agents or representatives or the stewards in the plants -- you know, the chief stewards and -- of course, we had a -- we had chief stewards for the, uh -- back, back when I first went -- became president, from, uh, the -- had -- we had two that represented the machinists, one at -- in the production area, and one in the -- if -- outside that area, which was -- covered the big shops and all the field shops. And then, the outside machinists had a chief steward. Uh, the R and D mechanics -- which we don’t have them now -- then, they, they had a chief steward.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, (clears throat) and, uh, you know, and -- uh, my philosophy has always been that, uh, uh, we can -- we have disagreements, uh, but let’s don’t disagree with each other.

DRUMMOND: Right, right.

43:00

WORLEY: And, and, and, you know -- and, and everybody should have a voice.

DRUMMOND: OK. And, and did -- I mean, you all were a good practicing democratic union --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

DRUMMOND: -- if your membership brought anything to you, that was --

WORLEY: We, we never had a, a, a -- all the years I’ve spent on the executive board, uh, uh, we had opinions and disagreements, sure, whatever, at times. But I don’t think we ever had, that I can recall, uh, where we got, uh, disagreeable with each other.

DRUMMOND: OK. That’s good.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: But that’s not always true. That’s not always, um, the case. Um, so, you were president from ’92 to 2000.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: And then, you were elected vice president from 2001 to 2008.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: And then, president again from 2009 to 2012. But when did you actually retire, Gordon? because I think --

WORLEY: Out of the plant?

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

44:00

WORLEY: Oh, well, I re -- I left out of the plant till -- at, at the end of, uh -- of ’94.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: But, uh, I, I never, uh, stopped paying union dues or anything, until the end of, of two thousand tw -- uh, twelve.

DRUMMOND: And, and so, you’re able -- you were able to hold office, as long as you --

WORLEY: Yes, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: -- were paying full dues.

WORLEY: Yeah, as long as you’re paying dues --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- to the local.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. OK. Well, why was it so important for you to stay involved, after you retired out of the shop?

WORLEY: Well, my feelings is -- or -- that what I have in material things, and the li -- and the things that I was able to do, uh -- what my wife and I were able to do for ourselves and for our kids, uh, uh, with, uh, uh, uh -- our old -- my oldest daughter went to s-- college for a while, and then quit. And, and she ended up, uh, being an insulator in the Insulators Union, but had to take disability and retire --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

45:00

WORLEY: -- because of having fibromyalgia, and couldn’t climb scaffolding and everything, to do the work.

DRUMMOND: OK. And, and when -- and describe the, uh, insulators’ work, for people who might not know.

WORLEY: OK, an insulator is -- well, it’s just what it says. They insulate the pipes. They’re the -- they’re the people that -- most of them got, uh, asbestosis.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Got it from the asbestos. It -- they insulated all the pipes and stuff --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- you know? And she worked construction.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And --

DRUMMOND: And -- well, can I ask you about this? You don’t hear about a lot of women, even today, working construction. How, how was that for her? Did -- what kind of --

WORLEY: Well --

DRUMMOND: I mean, did she talk to you about any of the issues or challenges she might have had with that?

WORLEY: Oh, oh, yeah, yes. Well, I -- yes, uh, because, uh, she worked in the Y-12 plant some. She worked at K-25. She worked at, uh, uh -- they worked at, uh, all the TVA, uh, installations, you know?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. OK.

WORLEY: And, and they sent them out -- they sent them out from the local union, 46:00wherever they -- we needed the people at, and everything like that.

DRUMMOND: And so, it was for the local here in Oak Ridge?

WORLEY: Uh, no, her local was in Knoxville.

DRUMMOND: In Knoxville?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and so, uh, uh, you know, sh-- her, uh, uh, her pension now is -- she has a pension from the Insulators Union.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And her -- of course, she still gets her Social Security, because she’s total impairment, and everything.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And we were -- we could have -- she could have finished college if she would have wanted to --

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

WORLEY: But she chose not to. Uh, but we got our youngest daughter through college.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and, of course, she, she, uh, (clears throat) worked some. She, she went to MTSU in Murfreesboro --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- and, and -- for a while, and then came back to, uh, here. And, uh, she got the rest of her degree going through, uh, Pellissippi and UT.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, uh, while she was doing that, uh, she worked part time, uh, with UPS.

DRUMMOND: Deliv -- was she delivering packages, or was she in the --

WORLEY: Yeah, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: On the --

WORLEY: Yeah, well -- she went with --

DRUMMOND: She was delivering?

47:00

WORLEY: She -- her -- uh, uh, well, in the -- in, in -- she was in the distribution center.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And then, through the holidays, when there’s a heavy load, why, the temporaries would go on the truck. And the driver, you know, had -- they helped the driver with delivering, to --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- to make it fast, because they had so many packages, and everything.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, so, uh, uh, she got her degree and she worked, uh, as a, uh -- oh gosh, I don’t know what they call it. Uh, uh -- at a terminal. Uh, I think a, a dock man-- I believe what they called it -- dock manager, or something, where -- at a terminal --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- for a while, where -- a distribution center for -- uh, up in, uh -- outside of Lake City, at, at a -- I believe -- I can’t remember what -- uh, 48:00who the company was that had that there, but it was, uh, involving, uh, pastries and breads and all that stuff.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: It was being delivered. And, uh, then, uh -- oh, she decided that, uh, she wanted to be a schoolteacher. And, so, she went back to school at, uh, South College in Knoxville, and got her teaching certificate. And she now teaches school at -- elementary school in, uh, Knoxville, at the Norwood School.

DRUMMOND: Nice, nice. Um, let me get -- and that was Heather.

WORLEY: But, anyway --

DRUMMOND: Oh, I’m sorry.

WORLEY: -- uh, I, I should con-- tell you that, all of those things that we were able to do, and, and, and, and able to have, was there because I was working under a company union con-- contract.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And so, uh, I always felt that I, I -- when I -- that I ought to give back something, then, if I could, to the union, because it gave me so much 49:00through my life, uh, working over there for, uh, 35 years.

DRUMMOND: Um, and, do you have grandkids?

WORLEY: Do I what?

DRUMMOND: Do you have grandkids?

WORLEY: Yes, yes. I have one granddaughter. Uh, she is in the United States Air Force, and she’s a tech sergeant. And, right now, she’s, uh, doing photography. And, uh, she’s stationed -- it’s the Nellis Air Force Base. And she has had some, uh, pictures (clears throat) -- excuse me -- some pictures that she has made, that’s been on the, the front cover of the Air Force magazine. And, and in some, uh, other, uh, flying magazines she’s -- has pictures. And, uh, she had the honor of, uh -- of mak -- of doing some photographs of the Tuskegee Airmen --

DRUMMOND: Oh.

WORLEY: -- who were all --

DRUMMOND: Wonderful.

50:00

WORLEY: -- with, uh -- retired, that was at an Air Force ball in Las Vegas.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Fantastic.

WORLEY: And --

DRUMMOND: OK. So, it really sounds like --

WORLEY: And she -- oh, and she’s married.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And her husband is a master sergeant.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And he’s in munitions. And she has two boys.

DRUMMOND: So, you’re a great grandfather.

WORLEY: Uh-huh. And, uh, one is nine, and one was born last year on Halloween.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK.

WORLEY: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: Congratulations.

WORLEY: Uh-huh. And she wants to stay and retire out of the Air Force.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: She likes her work.

DRUMMOND: OK. So, it’s -- it sounds like having the union job really allowed you to give not only the next generation, the, the next couple of generations of your family, um, more than -- or, you know, sort of, start that, um -- to just allow them to, maybe, be things that they might not have been, if you hadn’t had --

WORLEY: Might not have got to do.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, yeah.

WORLEY: Yeah, so, the union, uh, uh, with my oldest daughter.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

51:00

WORLEY: And then, uh, being able to work at UPS, with the youngest one going through. That helped some on, uh, uh, paying -- she will -- she will -- ever, uh, uh, wanted to live on her own out in Knoxville, in an apartment. And we helped her. But, uh, (clears throat), uh, also, uh, with the Teamsters Union, you know? That, that helped there. So, the unions helped all the way through for us. (clears throat)

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. Um, well, let’s talk -- because you were president from ’92 to 2000 and, again, from 2009 to 2012. And, um, I know that there have been layoffs over the years.

WORLEY: [Oh, God?].

DRUMMOND: Uh, can you talk a little bit how the numbers have dropped from the -- well, even as early as when you first started working here? How many people were here then --

WORLEY: OK, yeah.

DRUMMOND: -- versus -- ? I mean, you know, maybe you don’t have exact numbers, but maybe you can --

WORLEY: Uh, well, mm-hmm.

52:00

DRUMMOND: -- talk about how that’s affected, um, not only the union, but also, maybe, not -- um, Oak Ridge.

WORLEY: When I first hired in, in, in, in, uh, June of fifty -- 1959 --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- the first seniority book that I came out on, that was that -- a year later -- and, and I was numbered at, at 800-and-something on the machinist group. And we, uh -- well, uh, continued to, uh, rise, and we had a sm -- some small layoffs in the early ’60s. But all of them ended up being recalled. And, well -- then, later, we grew to where we had over 1,200 machinists out there at one time. And then, our local union -- you know, we also had the outside machinists, and the RADs, the oilers, the machine cleaners. At, uh, at one time, uh, uh, we were paying per capita tax to the ATLC on close to 1,800 members.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And now we’re paying on less than, uh, 300.

DRUMMOND: OK.

53:00

WORLEY: And it -- that’s what’s gone -- what’s happened and gone down over the years.

DRUMMOND: And is that, um, mainly because the jobs are gone, or is that because not as many people are joining the union, or --

WORLEY: (clears throat) No.

DRUMMOND: -- a combination, or -- ?

WORLEY: The jobs are gone.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, I think, uh, we have a -- right now, about -- uh, the local, I believe, is 100%. And it was always real high. There was very few --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- that worked that didn’t pay dues.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Uh, (clears throat) -- well, one thing that went down -- the RAD mechanics, which were -- uh, they were called, uh, research and development mechanics --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- and they worked alongside engineers that were working on projects. And that, completely, is, is gone. They don’t have that no more in Y-12.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK.

WORLEY: And the outside machinists’ work, uh, you know, that’s uh, uh, on construction. That’s (inaudible) like work, that’s what that is.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And that has gone down over the years. And, of course, with the, uh -- 54:00that going down, then, uh, our cleaner group has gone down --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- because they don’t have this -- we don’t have this many machine shops running in the plant, as we used to have. And (clears throat), and, uh, uh, the assembly group has grown some. But, uh, still, uh, with the -- with, uh, all of our membership now, uh, I believe that we -- that we’re paying per capita tax to the ATLC on around 300 members.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and that, that might not be the exact number, but it’s somewhere around 300 members.

DRUMMOND: OK. And, um, so, are the plants mostly empty with only work being done in small parts of them now? Or, or, I mean, are they -- are any of them abandoned, or -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, uh, well --

DRUMMOND: Not abandoned, but, I guess, just not used anymore?

WORLEY: Well, a lot -- a lot of the buildings are not used, like the, uh -- when I retired, the, the building that I was working in, uh, uh, that is -- had -- that building is closed.

55:00

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: They’re not doing the isotopes anymore. Uh, and a lot of the other buildings that, uh -- oh, had main-- they had main-- machine shops in them, and everything. There was nobody in there. They’re just shut down. And so -- and, and I don’t know, uh -- they’re tearing a lot of the buildings down out there, but I don’t know which buildings they are that’s being torn down. I know Alpha One is still running, but it don’t have near the personnel that it used to have.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and, uh, the -- like, up in the, the -- what -- we always called it the production area, which was the, uh -- the area where it was, uh, you -- all of the classified work was done. Uh, a lot of those machine shops and stuff are shut down, and very few people in them. You know, so there are just -- it’s just not -- a lot of the work is just gone. They’re not doing the -- what, what work --

DRUMMOND: Right.

WORLEY: -- we used to do.

DRUMMOND: Right, OK.

WORLEY: And, and, like, at Alpha One -- we used to do a lot of work for X-10. And they’re -- and, and, and they’re not doing stuff that -- like, like they 56:00were back then.

DRUMMOND: OK. And how has that affected -- I mean, because you’ve lived in Oak Ridge for half a century now.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Um, or in the area.

WORLEY: In the area, yes, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: And, and how has that affected the community, that all these jobs are now gone? And --

WORLEY: Well, it, it has --

DRUMMOND: Um, and have -- and, and then, the, the -- this part, too: have other jobs in other areas come in to replace or, sort of, fill in some of these jobs, or -- ?

WORLEY: Oh, well, I, I would say that there’s -- some of the industry that has, uh -- has moved in here has helped. Uh, uh, but, uh, it has -- uh, sure, a lot -- the loss of all of those people --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- has, has hurt the economy through here, uh, uh -- you know, a lot. Uh, and, uh, of course, uh, uh, uh, Oak Ridge, uh, uh -- you know, they had, uh, the Boeing plant here for a while, that helped with the, uh, employment. And, of course, Boeing shut it down and left.

57:00

DRUMMOND: Was it organized? Was the plant -- ?

WORLEY: Yes, it was organized.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and, of course, you -- that, uh -- you lost those -- the union lost --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- those union members.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, uh, a few of them got jobs in Y-12. And, and, and they’re members still -- and they’re members of our local now. And, and, and then, uh, the, uh, adjoining counties, you know, they -- we had a lot of -- there’s a lot of people work here, that work in Roane County. And, uh -- and, of course, K-25, well, going down, too. That was a big blow.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, X-10 -- they don’t have the number of people they once had, uh -- the national laboratory there.

DRUMMOND: What kind of work is being done in, in these places today? Um, do you know what projects they’re working...? I mean, if you can’t really talk -- I mean, talk about them.

WORLEY: Oh, oh, no. Uh, you know, I don’t know, uh, uh, really what they are doing.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, if you -- if you go into the production area, uh, that’s all 58:00classified work up there.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And what the assembly people do -- that’s all classified. And, uh, uh, X-10 -- we still have a few machinists over there, and, uh, uh -- but, uh, I don’t think it -- that they ever had much classified work in the machine shops over there. I, I d --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: I’m sure they had some, but -- because they all had clearances, you know --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- and, and everything. It’s the, uh -- and the big shop is not getting the work that they used to get, you know?

DRUMMOND: “The big shop”?

WORLEY: Yeah, the b-- that’s in a -- the main shop -- the general machine shop --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- where I -- where the moon box was made, and everything.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, because a lot of the work that they did, uh, uh, uh, was, uh, fixtures, dies, and jigs, and stuff like that --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- that some of that went into the production area. And, uh -- and, and they did a lot -- we did a lot of work for X-10. And, and, of course, we’ve 59:00done a lot of work for the Navy over the years, and they’re not getting any -- I don’t think they’re getting hardly any of that now.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: So, they -- I don’t -- I -- their -- uh, uh, uh, I don’t know what they’re really doing in the big shop now. Uh, and you will interview Danny Lowry later, and he’s in the big shop. And he can probably give you -- bring you up to date on what --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- what -- that they are doing, mostly, down there, now.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. And so, how has it affected the community? Is there anything you can point to, with jobs gone?

WORLEY: Hm. Well, I -- yeah, I know it has to have -- or, have -- hurt the empl --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Uh, employ -- he -- uh, of the -- uh, because there’s people been laid off and out of a job, so they’ve had to --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- uh, leave the area, and some stuff, or find other jobs.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and I’m sure that, uh, it’s hurt the economy of the area, to some degree. It has to have.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

60:00

WORLEY: You know? But, uh, uh, uh, to that extent, uh, I don’t, I don’t know how much. But I know it’s hurt them. You know, it has to --

DRUMMOND: Yeah, yeah.

WORLEY: -- when people get laid off, and everything.

DRUMMOND: OK. Um, are you all still -- does the, um, ATLC still negotiate a contract every three years, or help negotiate the contract every three years.

WORLEY: No, no, I think the l-- the last contracts have been for five years.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK.

WORLEY: Uh, but the -- uh, the con --

DRUMMOND: But they are still involved? OK.

WORLEY: Oh, they ATLC does -- still does -- I -- they still negotiate the X-10 and Y-12 contracts. And, uh, the Y-12 contract runs out this June the 21st. And, uh...

DRUMMOND: Um, are you all expecting -- ? How have negotiations changed over the last few years? Or have you all had to give up any benefits, or are you still -- ? Are the --

WORLEY: The f --

DRUMMOND: Is the -- are the unions still getting -- ?

61:00

WORLEY: The first, uh, uh, uh, negotiation, uh, was at X-10 -- I believe that was last year. And, and, and they, uh -- they had -- uh, they gave up some benefits. Uh, uh, they gave up a, a, a timeframe of -- where the company didn’t match their money in the 401(k). Uh, but they did keep their pension.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, and, uh, and -- but the, the new hires -- the pension for them at X-10 will be 1.2 instead of the 1.4 that the present employees have. And, and I think their raises for the first year was, was less --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- and everything. Yeah, but, but they did get a new five-year contract.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And it has, uh, wages for the other years. I think it -- the first year, it was less.

DRUMMOND: OK.

62:00

WORLEY: And -- but, uh -- and I -- and, and, and I, I don’t know what they’re l -- going to do at Y-12, because you don’t ex -- they’re supposed to be changing contractors.

DRUMMOND: Oh, really?

WORLEY: Yeah, uh, BMW is supposed to go out, and, uh, uh, uh, two companies, including, uh, Lockheed Martin are supposed to take over Y-12, and Pantex in Amarillo, Texas.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and they were supposed to be in place in May. But the present, uh, contractor -- uh, BMW -- they have filed a protest about the awarding of the contract was unfairly done, and so, that’s in a limbo now.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: So, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

DRUMMOND: OK, so, the -- so they feel that the US government wrongly awarded the contract to whoever’s --

WORLEY: Yeah, they got that --

DRUMMOND: -- coming in.

WORLEY: -- that’s -- yeah, that’s what they’re saying.

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK.

WORLEY: Saying that -- said that they didn’t give them fair considerations.

DRUMMOND: OK. Well, um, looking at the contract that was negotiated last year 63:00for, you said, X-10 --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- do you feel like, in negotiating a contract this year for Y-12, they’re going to look at that as a model to reduce the --

WORLEY: Well --

DRUMMOND: -- some of the benefits, some of the pay?

WORLEY: Yes, well, well, I think we can rest assured that they’re going to look at trying to be leaner with their money.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: You know, and so, uh, uh, I don’t know if they will look at that, or, uh, you know -- or what -- who they’ll use as a model, you know?

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, but the union can use that -- the fact that, uh, X-10 kept the pension. And, so, the Y-12 should be able to keep a pension, because they got -- kept a -- got to keep their pension, you know?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: That’ll be an -- a, a leverage for the -- for the union. But, uh, uh, what they will end up with, you know, who, who knows?

DRUMMOND: Right.

64:00

WORLEY: Uh, the negotiations, over the years, were -- uh, here, that I’ve went to and everything, uh, were always tough. And, uh -- because, uh, uh, the government had the final say, because they were the ones that were appropriating the money.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Was there always, sort of, a give and take between -- with the contract? Or, has it been -- have you seen, like, over the last few negotiations, that the, the union members, I guess, overall, have fewer -- are giving up more?

WORLEY: Uh, well, I -- uh, uh, no, I don’t -- from, from when, uh, I came to work here, uh, I don’t remember us, uh, uh, giving up, uh, uh, anything. Uh, we gained, uh, money almost every year.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Uh, and, uh, uh, we gained a lot of, uh, uh -- like, we gained, uh, in 65:00the pension formula over the years. We -- even with Union Carbide.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, uh, we gained, uh, the 401(k). Uh, of course, we had a savings plan under Carbide, but it wasn’t, like, the 401(k). And, uh, uh, we gained on rights and, uh, shift preferences, and, and, and, and things like that. We got, uh, dental and vision care over the years --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- you know? And, and, uh -- so, the first, uh, giveback that, that -- to my knowledge was that one at X-10 last -- uh, last year or the year before last, when they got -- that, that contract was negotiated.

DRUMMOND: Mm, OK. Right. Um --

WORLEY: I bel -- uh, it was negotiated early.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, because, uh, UT and Battelle wanted to negotiate it early. Now, I believe that was last year.

DRUMMOND: OK. Is that Battelle?

WORLEY: Ba -- Battelle.

DRUMMOND: B-A -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, uh, I, I, I don’t know how they spell it. But it’s 66:00B-E-something, but --

DRUMMOND: OK, OK, I’ll look it up.

WORLEY: Uh, you’ll see it on -- from, uh -- probably from your interview with Bob.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. All right. Um, you know, because I’m just always, you know -- with fewer jobs, and then, being increasingly difficult to negotiate good contracts, I just wondered if there had been more of a change in what, um, uh, you know, the unions would -- were getting in the contracts over the years. But it sounds like there have just been small concessions, and nothing...

WORLEY: Well, I, I mean, a lot of -- I don’t remember, uh -- I -- uh, under Carbide, and, uh, Martin Marietta, and Lockheed Martin, I don’t recall us every giving up any monetary thing.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. OK. Um --

WORLEY: We always gained. Like I said, we gained -- we got, uh, dental insurance 67:00-- den-- dental coverage and vision coverage.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: You know, and we got, uh, major medical for our retirees going out, back through the years. So, we were all -- I f -- well, I felt like we always gained at, at most every contract.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: If, if it wasn’t anything gained in benefits, it was a gain in financial and money.

DRUMMOND: OK. So, um, let’s talk about some of your other activities, uh, in Oak Ridge, over the years. And I’m interested to hear about the Oak Ridge Area Central Labor Council, and, sort of, what they -- what their role was, in working with, um, the unions in town.

WORLEY: The, uh -- the Labor Council in Oak Ridge -- it was -- it’s all of the, uh, Labor Councils are, are, basically -- their roles is in, like, United Way --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

68:00

WORLEY: -- and, uh, uh, political.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and things like, uh -- in, uh, Oak Ridge, uh -- while I was involved, uh, two times, uh, uh, it was a fight over, uh, a county and city sales tax --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- which s -- you know, sales tax is the most regressive tax that you can have. And, uh, uh, uh, one -- we, we defeated it one time. But the next time, they won it and got it.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And they -- and I -- uh, uh, and we always, here in, uh -- in Oak Ridge, for -- like, for Roane County and Anderson County, uh, we really worked, because we had, had a lot of our members living in that -- in Roane County. We worked hard with, uh, uh, supporting politicians for offices in the cities and the 69:00county and the state that, uh, were, uh, friendly to working people.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. To working -- to all working people, including folks in unions?

WORLEY: Uh, yeah, includ --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Well, including the union people, you know?

DRUMMOND: Yeah, mm-hmm.

WORLEY: We were the one that was doing the, uh -- the politicking for them, and out going door to door, and hand-billing, and, and doing advertisements in the papers, and stuff like that for them.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Uh, uh, but what they -- what we were asking -- uh, asked of them, uh, when they were elected, un, affected working people.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, you know, uh, because working people are impor -- or, important to the union people whether they belong to the union or not.

DRUMMOND: Right, right.

WORLEY: You know? And, and, and, and you don’t get ahead by stepping on somebody else.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: You know, you get ahead by trying to help the people that are not members of the union, and, uh, the less skilled, to get better and do better.

DRUMMOND: What --

WORLEY: And, and that’s --

DRUMMOND: Oh --

WORLEY: -- basically, it’s what the, the Knoxville Labor Council did.

DRUMMOND: OK.

70:00

WORLEY: And I -- and I -- and we never understood, and, and, and tr -- and tried to stop it from happening, of the AFL and CIO merging us in, in that Central Labor Council over there.

DRUMMOND: Because you felt like, even though you’re, you’re close geographically, that the folks in Knoxville just really didn’t have the same, um, ideas about how -- ?

WORLEY: Well, well, they have the same ideas --

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

WORLEY: -- but, uh, uh, uh, the, the -- that area over there had more union members than we had here in, in Anderson County. And, uh -- and when it -- once it was merged over there, the -- they operated their endorsement of candidates and stuff a little s-- different --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- than what we did. So, if you got an endorsement for a, a -- somebody running for state representative over here, in the paper that was released by, uh, the president of the council over there, the membership over here didn’t 71:00know who had -- didn’t know them.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: So, uh, you know, uh, uh, uh, they didn’t -- it, it didn’t have the same effect as when the -- we had the Labor Council here, where the, the rank-and-file membership knew, uh, uh, all of the officers that were serving in the Labor Council.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Because they would work with them, and if they didn’t, they’d live next door to them, or something like that. They just knew the people.

DRUMMOND: Right.

WORLEY: And so, the -- we, we had a -- had better results and influence with the rank-and-file members, uh, because of those relationships.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. And so, once it merged, it was really more Knoxville, in your opinion --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- more Knoxville --

WORLEY: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: -- still, sort of, operating the way they had when it was just Knoxville. That they weren’t really taking into consideration the needs of the folks in Oak Ridge --

WORLEY: Right.

DRUMMOND: -- when they were --

WORLEY: Yeah, be -- because --

DRUMMOND: When they were doing things.

WORLEY: -- there -- uh, there, our largest membership was Alcoa Aluminum.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

72:00

WORLEY: Stick -- and, and, you know -- and so, uh, that’s -- Their aim was all in that Knoxville area, and they were known in the Knoxville area, and they weren’t known down in here, in this area.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. But, did you all have delegates that -- or, or, or, folks that -- who are -- ? How do you choose people who go and represent, uh, Oak Ridge’s interests at those meetings?

WORLEY: Uh, the -- uh, uh, Local 480, uh -- the president appoints the delegates that go to the Labor Council.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and, uh -- and, and we do have, uh, people that are appointed delegates to that --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- over there, uh, uh, and everything. But, uh, uh, it -- uh, uh, so, you know, they participated --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- just like I did.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: I was -- participated over there. But it was -- it’s -- it, it still -- it, it’s not like the effect that we had. We don’t get the effects that 73:00we should --

DRUMMOND: Right.

WORLEY: -- that we should get --

DRUMMOND: Right.

WORLEY: -- in Anderson and Roane County, with, uh, the Labor Council over there.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: They get -- they, they, they, they -- well, what they try, it just does not resonate out to the membership and rank-and-file voters in Anderson and Roane County anymore.

DRUMMOND: Has, um, Knoxville managed to hold onto a lot of their union membership, or has that --

WORLEY: I, I, I --

DRUMMOND: -- dwindled over the years?

WORLEY: Well, now, I -- well, of course, uh, Alcoa has lost a lot of members. They’ve had a lot of layoffs, closed --

DRUMMOND: And who, who organized that plant?

WORLEY: What?

DRUMMOND: What, what -- which union organized that plant?

WORLEY: That’s, uh, the Steelworkers.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: It’s always been the Steelworkers.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, uh, they used to be real large, and had a lot of workers over there. And it’s gone down over the years.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And they don’t have many workers now. Uh, the, uh, Local 555 -- which was a Machinists local over there -- they had, uh, uh, two plants organized over 74:00there. And, and just about -- their membership went down, I think, just -- and, and they were merged into our local here, a couple of years ago or so. And, and I think they’ve -- you know, well, they’ve got, like, 10, 12 members, is all --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- at one of the places.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Well, um, if they’ve merged in, how do you -- who helps negotiate their contracts?

WORLEY: Uh, uh, uh, the business representative that, uh, is, is assigned to this area --

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK.

WORLEY: -- and, and, and negotiates their contacts.

DRUMMOND: OK. Yeah.

WORLEY: And he, he also has, uh, uh, uh, someplace in upper East Tennessee that’s organized. He negotiates that. He negotiates -- it’s, uh, uh -- the, uh, uh -- here, the, the facility over here on Illinois that we have organized -- Manufacturing Science.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: He negotiates their contract. And he goes to the negotiations with our people, when I -- when the ATLC is negotiating, you know?

DRUMMOND: OK.

75:00

WORLEY: Uh, uh, because all the local unions have their representatives there when the negotiations is going on.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and I think, uh, uh, uh, George has the, uh -- a, a plant in, uh -- that makes the, uh, skins for hot dogs --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- over in, uh, Loudon.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: He, he -- they’re -- it belongs to IAM. They have their own local. He, he represents them. And, and he has several contracts he represents -- the, the present-business agent.

DRUMMOND: OK. Um, so, given that the Knoxville/Oak Ridge -- the combined Labor Council --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- they, perhaps, don’t always take into consideration the needs of Oak Ridge. Have you all, locally, formed a group, or gotten together to, sort of, help fill in, maybe, gaps that are left with, um, the, um, Knoxville folks not taking into account the needs you all have down here?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

76:00

DRUMMOND: Have you all done anything -- I mean, I guess, to a certain degree, the ATLC is probably --

WORLEY: Uh, well, they, they -- you know, the ATLC’s main purpose is, they rep-- represent the people working in those two plants --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. OK.

WORLEY: -- through the bargaining unit, through the grievance procedures --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- and everything like that. And in, in, in, in, in the plant out there, like, in Y-12, for the Machinists Union, the key people are the chief stewards in the -- in the -- in the, uh, job shops -- I mean, the job-shop services --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- in each individual area. But the chief steward is the main spokesman --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- that, that -- the, the, the three that we have, for our membership in the plant.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK.

WORLEY: And, and, and, of course, the grievance procedure, then, up -- when it reaches a certain stage, then it goes through the vice president of -- in the -- in each plant, like Y-12. And then, from there, it goes to a, a -- uh, arbi-- 77:00arbitration --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- if it can’t be resolved.

DRUMMOND: OK. Good.

WORLEY: And, and, uh -- uh, they -- well, uh -- and, and they do -- they, they do the -- uh, uh, those delegates and stuff do do some, uh, political work, too.

DRUMMOND: OK. But then, there’s also the Anderson County Election --

WORLEY: Commission.

DRUMMOND: -- Commission, which you were involved with, from ’78 to 2001.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: And, what was -- what was the function of that organization?

WORLEY: Oh, the, the, uh -- there’s five members of the -- in Tennessee, there’s five members of the election commission in each county.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And they oversee the running of that office.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: They hire the, uh, administrator of elections, the employees that work in the office, and, uh, they hire the voting-machine technicians that han -- handle the voting machines and stuff.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And they approve all of the poll workers.

DRUMMOND: Mm. OK.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and, and they’re, basically -- they’re in charge of the 78:00whole election. When anything goes wrong, it falls back on those five people --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- even, even if it’s an employee that just made a mistake, or goofed up.

DRUMMOND: OK. And you --

WORLEY: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: -- were involved with them for a really long time --

WORLEY: Oh, yeah.

DRUMMOND: -- over 20 years.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: So, apparently --

WORLEY: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: -- you didn’t do anything wrong.

WORLEY: Uh-uh. Uh-uh.

DRUMMOND: Nothing -- not that -- they didn’t beat you out of the --

WORLEY: Uh-uh. Well, it -- uh, now --

DRUMMOND: How were you chosen for that position? Are you elected to that position?

WORLEY: Uh, no, state representatives, if they’ll appoint you.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK.

WORLEY: And it --

DRUMMOND: Um, and I assume it’s bipartisan?

WORLEY: It’s bipartisan, and you’re appointed -- reappointed every two years.

DRUMMOND: OK. And, so, then, you had somebody, uh, up at the state house that liked the work you were doing? That --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- kept --

WORLEY: Uh, one year, we did not have a state represent -- one, one time.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And then, it fell to the, uh, uh, the party --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- the executive board -- or, the executive officers and stuff of the Democratic Party. It -- because I, I was appointed as a Democrat.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, and, uh, the chairman of the party sends a letter to the State 79:00Election Commission, who to appoint, just, like, uh, you know, when you don’t have a state representative.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. And why was it important for you, so long, to be involved with the group that oversees elections?

WORLEY: Uh, well, that’s -- it, it, it’s a -- I was involved with politics before that --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- working in the party and everything.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and in, uh, uh, eight -- uh, ’78, I was the president of the Oak Ridge Area Central Labor Council. And, uh, one of the, uh, uh, Democrats that was on the election commission resigned to run for county exec.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and so, uh, uh, Keith Bissell was, uh, our state representative. And, uh, he was a friend of the union people here. And, uh, and, and, uh, he, he, he talked to some of us about, uh, uh, that position, uh, being open and everything.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

80:00

WORLEY: And, uh, uh, some of the, uh -- one of his close friends that was an officer in the Labor Council at that time said -- just pointed over towards me and said, “Why not appoint him? Why don’t -- why don’t we have a union man on there?”

DRUMMOND: Was that really the first time that the union was represented --

WORLEY: Yes, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: -- on that?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and, so, he said, “Yeah.” You know, he said, “I think that’s a great idea.” And, uh -- and also, uh, uh, after I got on the commission and everything, I started, uh, talking to, uh, uh, people in the unions.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Uh, you know, uh, uh, uh, “Why don’t you go work the polls? Be a poll worker?”

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and I got a lot of the, uh, uh, uh, union people to work in polls in Anderson County.

DRUMMOND: More visibility for the union?

WORLEY: Mm-hmm. Right.

DRUMMOND: More -- because I --

WORLEY: And, and, you know, they got off from work with pay.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

81:00

WORLEY: And then, they got a little pay from the county, uh, for doing the job --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- and everything. And, uh -- and also, uh, I was instrumental in, in, in talking to the, uh, poll workers, one time, at, uh -- when we were having a school of instructions. And they was talking about what little pay they got. And, and I told them that -- I said, “Well, the, uh, county commission gives us some money, uh, you know, to do the elections with and everything.” We have a budget, and everything like that. And I said, “Why don’t you all get on your county commissioner about, uh, uh, uh, paying you minimum wage?” And they did.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And they -- so, they passed a resolution that all the poll workers would get minimum wage for their hour-- you know, and so, uh, they, they’re, uh -- uh, usually get paid for 12 hours on that day --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- and everything, you know?

82:00

DRUMMOND: Very good. Well, you have been gone from the commission since 2001.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Did they continue to keep a union member on the commission?

WORLEY: No.

DRUMMOND: No? You were the last -- you were the first and last, I guess?

WORLEY: The first and the last.

DRUMMOND: Um, do you think that that’s an overall reflection of the direction of the increasing -- um, I guess, uh, more conservative -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, uh --

DRUMMOND: Or, the more divisive politics between Democrats and Republicans, or -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, uh, well the -- well, uh, I don’t think there was -- uh, I think the, the, uh, one -- see, when I left, we had three Democrat commissioners.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, they -- the, uh, uh, commissioner that they appointed in my place was a friend of the state representative -- a good friend of the state representative. And I think he appointed him because of that friendship.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Uh, but, see, then, when we lost, uh, control of the, uh, state house, then it become two Democrats and three Republicans. And, uh, they don’t have a, a Democrat in Anderson County -- a state representative.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

83:00

WORLEY: They had one with Jim Hackworth, for a while.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And he just kept the same two Democrats he had on there.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, the -- but no, uh -- no, he kept two of the three.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: One of the ladies volunteered to go off.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and so, he, he just kept the other two. And, I think, they still have the same two. I’m, I’m, I’m sure.

DRUMMOND: OK, so, so, Democrats are still -- are still --

WORLEY: I think that -- I think --

DRUMMOND: -- represented on the --

WORLEY: Yeah, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Yeah, there’s two on there.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and, and one -- with the five, the chairman always comes from the majority part-- uh, party.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And the secretary comes, then, from the min -- minority.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. Um, and, earlier than that, in the ’70s, you were involved with the Democratic Executive Committee.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm, yeah.

DRUMMOND: And how was -- was that for the Executive Committee for Anderson County, or -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, uh, yeah, it was from Anderson County. But I, I came from my voting precinct district -- Norwood --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- here I lived.

DRUMMOND: OK.

84:00

WORLEY: Uh, each, each dis -- each voting precinct --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- has an ex-- has a, a, a group that they elect as -- to go -- as -- be mem-- uh, members of the executive board of the whole county.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And then, those delegates elect the president, the secretary, and all of that.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: All the officers -- all of the -- of it. And, and so, I was just, uh, from Norwood. I never held a -- an office --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- in, in the Anderson County Executive Committee. I was just a delegate from Norwood precinct, on there.

DRUMMOND: OK. How many delegates were there for Anderson County?

WORLEY: I, I don’t remember. It was either -- it was based on, uh, uh, how many p-- uh, how many voters you had in that, that district. In other words, Norwood had so many registered voters.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: So, that determined how many, uh, people could be on the executive board from Norwood.

DRUMMOND: And how many --

WORLEY: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: Oh, I’m sorry?

WORLEY: What?

DRUMMOND: Were -- I’m sorry, were you going to finish the sentence?

WORLEY: Uh, uh, yes.

DRUMMOND: Did I cut you off? What -- I’m sorry. What were you going to say?

85:00

WORLEY: Uh, uh, that, uh -- that that determined how many people that could be on the executive board representing Norwood precinct.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And all the other precincts did the same thing.

DRUMMOND: OK. So, if there was a, a Democratic Executive Committee, I assumed that there was also a Republican?

WORLEY: Yes. Oh, yeah.

DRUMMOND: And so, that they -- that you -- so, just -- OK. OK.

WORLEY: Yeah, mm-hmm. It’s like that in all the counties in the state.

DRUMMOND: OK. Um, and what was the work of that Democratic Executive Committee? What did you all come together to do?

WORLEY: Oh, you -- well, you raised money and, uh, get out and work to support Democratic candidates that’s running --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- in Anderson County, and in the state, and on the national level.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: It was -- it’s a -- it’s a political -- for --

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

WORLEY: -- uh, uh, party work that you do.

DRUMMOND: OK. Were you all successful at fundraising for Democrats in this -- ?

WORLEY: Well, yes.

DRUMMOND: I guess, at one time.

WORLEY: Oh yeah, yes. So, uh, yeah --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- we always done OK in that -- in, in Anderson County, on the -- on, uh, raising money for our candidates.

DRUMMOND: OK. And you started, uh, working on that, uh, committee, in the early ’70s?

86:00

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Um, how long --

WORLEY: That’s --

DRUMMOND: -- were you involved with the Democratic Executive Committee?

WORLEY: I was -- I was involved with it until, uh, I left, and moved to Roane County in 2001.

DRUMMOND: OK. Did you get in -- involved in your new county?

WORLEY: Uh, well -- uh, well, yes, I worked as a voting-machine technician for, uh, several years, down there in Roane County.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: When, when they went to the electronic machines, because that, that (clears throat) -- that’s what we had in Anderson County, and I were familiar with them --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- and everything. And what, uh, uh, uh -- let’s see. I guess it’s been four years, or -- yeah, I believe it’s been -- I hadn’t worked there -- it’s been o -- it’s been over four years --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- since I haven’t worked --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- down there.

DRUMMOND: OK. Um, you were also involved with the United Way?

WORLEY: I was, at -- uh, when I was a -- uh, uh, uh, uh, with -- still with the, 87:00uh, Oak -- uh, Knoxville/Oak Ridge Labor Council.

DRUMMOND: OK. And was that fundraising for the United Way, or -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, n-- uh, well, it was on the -- on the board --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- that, uh, uh -- that makes the policies for the --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- for the United Way.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK.

WORLEY: And, and it was, uh, uh, mainly, uh, uh, uh, for Knoxville -- for Knox County.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And I served on that for, uh, uh, one term.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and I had to -- uh, uh, I gave it up. I didn’t ask to serve again, because, uh, uh, the health of my wife.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: She had a dementia problem.

DRUMMOND: OK. Um, and what -- when did, um -- do you mind if we talk about your wife for a minute? Or would you rather not talk -- ?

WORLEY: No, I don’t mind talking about her.

DRUMMOND: OK. So, she worked here, in Oak Ridge.

WORLEY: She worked here, yeah.

DRUMMOND: And, and she -- and she became sick. Um, when did -- may I ask when she passed away?

WORLEY: What?

DRUMMOND: When did she pass away?

88:00

WORLEY: Two thousand and eight.

DRUMMOND: Two thousand and eight.

WORLEY: April the 19th, 2008.

DRUMMOND: OK. And, um, I imagine it was incredibly difficult having to, um, take care of her, and keep up with all the -- because you -- incredibly active. I mean, even after you actually retired from the plant, you, you remained --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- incredibly active. Um, did you, during that time, sort of, give up some of your responsibilities, to be at home more, and...?

WORLEY: Mm, yes, uh (clears throat), had meetings and, and things like that, uh, uh, uh, my oldest daughter lived close by.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and, uh, she would come stay with her mother while I was gone --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: When, when, when she got to the stage where she couldn’t be left alone.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and, and, dementia -- they al -- they al -- the doctors always called it Alzheimer’s.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

89:00

WORLEY: But it can be caused from a lot of things -- dementia can -- strokes, you know, a lot of things. And it’s a, a very, very, uh, horrible disease.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

WORLEY: When the end starts de -- destroying your mind.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. And, um, so, if -- let me look at your --

WORLEY: But I did not want her in a nursing home.

DRUMMOND: Right, no. I understand that.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Um, and after she passed away, you were still an active, dues-paying union member --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- and ran for president again.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and, and, and I was, uh, still president of the Labor Council then, too.

DRUMMOND: OK. So, you were wearing a lot of hats at that time. You were a caregiver, and, um --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- vice president of the local --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

90:00

DRUMMOND: -- and president of the Labor Council.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: It must have been a very busy time for you.

WORLEY: Well, it was. Uh, you know, but, uh, uh, I managed it, and, uh, you know --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- uh, uh, my oldest daughter was, uh -- lived close to where I do, and, uh -- and, uh -- and, uh, if I wanted to, uh, be gone for a weekend to a conference or something like that --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- why, uh, uh, my youngest daughter would come and get her mother, and take her over her house, and, and, she, she would stay with here, you know? And I had a lot of help there.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And then, later, uh, had hospice help.

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK.

WORLEY: And they’re phenomenal, what they do.

DRUMMOND: Right, yeah, yeah. Um, they are. And, um, I guess the only thing on this paper that we haven’t talked about is your involvement with the Shriners, since nineteen -- ?

WORLEY: Seventy-nine.

DRUMMOND: Seventy-nine.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

91:00

DRUMMOND: So, that’s a -- and you’re still involved with the Shriners?

WORLEY: Still involved with the Shriners.

DRUMMOND: And what, um -- for people who might not know -- what is the, um -- what is the mission of the Shriners? What do they -- ?

WORLEY: Uh, we raise money --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- to run hospitals for children.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Orthopedic --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- and burn hospitals, and, uh, that -- if they are 18 years of age and younger, and the doctors say that the -- examine them and say that they can be helped --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- why, everything is free --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- because -- from the money we raise.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, uh -- when, uh -- well, uh, in this area here, the big thing is, is, uh, uh, us selling the Shrine papers. And it -- and it --

DRUMMOND: What are the papers?

WORLEY: It -- oh, it’s, it’s a paper, uh, uh, like a news-- similar to a newspaper.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: It tells about the kids in there, that has been helped and what they’re -- you know, what the hospitals --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

92:00

WORLEY: -- are doing, and everything like that. And every penny of that money goes for helping the ho -- for the kids.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: There’s no, uh, uh, money goes for any kind of, uh, man-- uh, management, or, or -- the -- everybody’s -- what they do, like, the people that drive the vans that haul the kids to the hospital -- that’s volunteer for them.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And they don’t get paid for it. And, uh, I, I, I don’t know if you, uh, uh, remember or not. When there was, uh, one of the, uh, hurric -- I mean, one of the earthquakes down in Mexico --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Uh, and there was a lot of kids with, with burn stuff. The Shrine hospitals flew them to Cincinnati at the burn hospital.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And, and they were treated free.

DRUMMOND: OK, what year was that? I don’t -- I don’t remember.

WORLEY: I don’t remember the year.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK.

WORLEY: And, uh -- but, uh, uh -- and, uh, uh, you know, and, and, and, and, regardless how far, you, you know, away or whatever, if, if, if, if the Shriners 93:00know and the doctors say they can help, why, uh, uh, every -- they’ll go and it’s free. If their parents have to stay with them for surgery, they --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- their place is fixed in the hospital for them to stay, and, and their food is free, and, and, you know --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- it don’t cost them anything.

DRUMMOND: So, it sounds like a -- it’s certainly a, a great organization. How is it -- so, do you all do separate, uh, local fundraising campaigns, and then also participate in, maybe, nationwide fundraising campaigns with the Shriners?

WORLEY: Uh-huh, each, each, uh, Shrine Center does their own, uh, uh, campaign for raising --

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK. OK.

WORLEY: -- like, uh (clears throat), uh, Kings-- uh, Kingsport has a Shrine Center. And I th-- and Bristol has one, and Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis. And they all do their own fundraiser thing --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- for the hospitals.

DRUMMOND: OK. And what do you all do?

94:00

WORLEY: Uh, in, in, in -- here in this area, we have -- we, we do what, uh -- the paper sale.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Where it has a, a little paper that’s a -- tells about the kids that’s been --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- in the hospitals, and what’s going on. And, uh, uh, we always give people that donate, and we go to st-- like, uh, in, uh, Roane County, we, we do the Wal -- we, we get permission from Walmart to be at their stores, and collect money.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And Kroger’s, uh, uh, uh -- I -- for -- since I’ve been in Roane County, I’ll -- I will work a Kroger’s all the time --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- during the sale. It runs for a week.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And Lowe’s -- we do it there. Some counties, it will allow roadblocks, you know, and everything.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Uh, s-- we used to have roadblocks here in Anderson County, (clears throat) but they stopped that. They won’t let you have a roadblock --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- stopping the street -- holding the streets, you know?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

WORLEY: So, you just -- uh, and, uh, uh, when I was here in Anderson County, 95:00why, uh, uh, I worked the Oliver Springs area.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And myself and, uh, one other Shriner, we always went door to door. And, and, and then they had a roadblock down in, uh, Oliver Springs, which -- part of Oliver Springs is in Roane County.

DRUMMOND: OK. And, more recently, though, it sounds like you organized a ride?

WORLEY: Uh, yeah, uh-huh. Uh, uh, well I, I said “organized” -- it was -- I, I, I presented the unit with the idea --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: -- and they bought into it.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh -- and so, yes, we do, uh, Lexington Hospital the third weekend in July every year. And we charge so much for each rider.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And we go up on Friday and come back on Sunday.

DRUMMOND: OK. So --

WORLEY: So --

DRUMMOND: -- you, you go up and you raise money for them, and you present --

WORLEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: -- them with -- and you present them with the --

WORLEY: Uh-uh, right. We, we raise money.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: All the riders pay to go. One of our members works in the Y-12 plant.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And he -- and he hits the coffee funds over there for money.

DRUMMOND: Nice.

96:00

WORLEY: As well as individuals in the plant -- you know, individuals in there.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: And the -- every time we meet -- our unit -- why, we’ve got a jar there.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And we’ll all drop in whatever amount of money we want to put in. And, and that’s -- we keep that. And then, we turn all that money into the Lexington orthopedic hospital when we’re up there.

DRUMMOND: And you’re allowed to donate directly to them? It doesn’t have to go to Shriner headquarters and -- ?

WORLEY: Well, it, it do-- it, uh -- uh, none of it goes to Shriner headquarters.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: It, uh -- it, it, uh, uh -- like, in this area, it’ll be divided up. And let’s see, we’ve got a, a, a burn hospital in, uh, Cincinnati.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Lexington has an orthopedic hospital. Greenville, South Carolina, as an orthopedic hospital. And, and that money will go to those different hospitals.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK. Well, um, we have talked about a lot of different things.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

97:00

DRUMMOND: Is there anything we haven’t talked about, or that I haven’t asked you about, that you would like to, to discuss?

WORLEY: Hmm.

DRUMMOND: Anything I’ve forgotten, Gordon?

WORLEY: Hmm. Right off, I can’t think of anything.

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: Uh, you’ve, kind of, covered, covered about everything that --

DRUMMOND: OK.

WORLEY: -- (laughter) you know, I’ve, kind of, done through my life, you know?

DRUMMOND: OK, yeah. Yeah, well, um, thank --

WORLEY: And I --

DRUMMOND: Oh?

WORLEY: Oh, and I really enjoyed that, uh, trai -- training session at, uh -- at, uh -- the Winpisinger Center that --

DRUMMOND: Oh, yeah.

WORLEY: -- uh, last year, that we had up there, you know? It was really --

DRUMMOND: It was two years ago.

WORLEY: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: It just seems like last year, but it was two years ago.

WORLEY: Oh, it was? Oh, OK, two years ago.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

WORLEY: Yeah, yeah, that’s right, it was. It was -- that -- it was, uh, uh, very, uh, just, uh -- education stuff towards the history of the union.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, uh, when Larry brought that up to, uh, me and some of us, about starting doing some history here, after he retired --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

98:00

WORLEY: -- about our local, and, and, and that -- you know, and, and I had been putting back some historical stuff that I’d come across while I was an officer here, like seniority books, and stuff like that. You know, local -- uh, uh, I always thought the, the history of, of anything is real important, you know, for the future.

DRUMMOND: Right.

WORLEY: Or for future generations, to look back upon, and I’m glad that they got this started down at Georgia, down there.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

WORLEY: That’s --

DRUMMOND: Yeah, well, I’m -- I -- you know, doing do the Local Lodge History Project is one of my favorite things --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- that I get to do --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- as the archivist of the -- of the Labor Archives. Anything I get to do with the Machinists, really, is a lot of fun.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Um --

WORLEY: I think you do a great job.

DRUMMOND: Oh, well, thank you, Gordon. I -- it, it’s really -- uh, I do enjoy my work. I don’t -- I don’t think anyone that meets me doesn’t think that I enjoy --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- you know, what I do. But, um, I think it’s so important that this program exists. And I wish it existed for other unions, to bring people in, to teach them how to keep their own history. Because I feel like local lodges often 99:00think that their -- maybe their history isn’t that important.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: That maybe it’s only at the headquarters level, or, or the international level, that it’s important.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: So, um, I’m really glad that the Machinists are finding a way to highlight locals.

WORLEY: Uh, or, well, I’ve found from being chief steward, uh, over there, that, uh, the people that were chief stewards before me had threw a lot of stuff away --

DRUMMOND: Mm.

WORLEY: -- like grievances or agreements that had been made, bet-- between different unions, of, “This is your work.”

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and, and, and, like, for the Machinists and another union, we’ll make a -- well, you know, make an agreement on a certain type of work -- belong to either us or to them.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And, and they’d throw that way, and, and, just, uh -- they done threw -- didn’t keep good records.

DRUMMOND: Right, right.

WORLEY: And I -- and I’m sure they spent a lot stuff here -- throw it away, too.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, and, and I think that it -- and that’s always the case. People never know, and they throw stuff away.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

100:00

DRUMMOND: But also, I really think it’s hard -- that union mem-- it’s too bad union members are never taught to talk about their effect on a community, or their --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Or the -- or how a community benefits from having a local there.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Or understanding that local, within the overall history of the community.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Um, especially in the south, I think it’s hard. A lot of people won’t even talk about being in a union, if they’re in one in the south.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm. Yeah, mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: So, um --

WORLEY: I don’t -- I don’t know why they do, uh, uh... Because, uh, the unions have always been, and stood for, nothing but, uh, what was the best for the people.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: Always the best for the people.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. And I -- yeah, and I feel like, especially, um -- because I know that a lot of, um -- a lot of history has been written about the laboratories.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: And, here, in Oak Ridge --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

101:00

DRUMMOND: -- that I -- the lab and the plants and stuff. But you rarely hear about it from the labor point of view --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- and what the union contributed, and, and things like that.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: So, um, I’m glad that we’re able to fill in some of that, by talking to you and Larry and --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- and Bob, and getting your stories for --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- the, the Archives --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- where everyone can come --

WORLEY: Yeah, I wish that, uh --

DRUMMOND: -- see them.

WORLEY: -- that we had some of the, uh, uh, officers ali -- still, uh, living, that could talk -- that could talk to you about the ’58 wildcat strike.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: But see, most, most all of those people are deceased.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: And now they -- we’ve got a lot of people that w -- that participated in it, still alive, around.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: But they just participated, but the -- you know, the officers -- uh, they, they, they really knew what was going on, and what was happening, and, and everything like that, you know?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

WORLEY: What were -- and, uh -- but, they’re just all gone.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, and then -- and that’s a lesson, too.

WORLEY: Yeah.

102:00

DRUMMOND: That people are as much a part of his -- part of history as what they do --

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- and what the results are.

WORLEY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: So, well, if you don’t have anything else to add, then I am going to end the interview.

WORLEY: OK.

DRUMMOND: Thank you, again, so much, for talking.

WORLEY: You’re welcome.

DRUMMOND: Um --

WORLEY: Thank you for the honor --

DRUMMOND: -- just --

WORLEY: -- of getting to, uh, uh, talk to you, and, and be interviewed --

DRUMMOND: Oh --

WORLEY: -- about what little bit I know, (laughter) and what little --

DRUMMOND: Oh, so much.

WORLEY: -- little bit I have contributed to -- (laughter) I hope to, to the union. And -- because it has contributed a whole lot to me, from being a union member.

DRUMMOND: OK. Thanks, Gordon.