White Furniture Company

1791 Words Aug 25th, 2013 8 Pages
White Furniture Company was the “oldest maker of fine furniture.” This phrase was reiterated over and over again by longtime Mebane, North Carolina residents. This company employed 1 out of 20 Mebane residents and was a driving economic force in the town. White 's “regulated many of the rhythms of the town-opening and closing time, lunchtime, weekend and holidays.”
For this reason, when White Furniture Company closed the whole town was effected. Many individuals, some who had been with the factory for most of their lives were out of a job. Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory by Bill Bamberger and Cathy N. Davidson explores these individuals lives before and after the closing of the factory along with powerful images that
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He worked at White 's for 41 years and although he agrees with most of what Margaret said, he sheds light on the poor wages given by the company. He states he only stayed with the company because he liked his job and the people he worked with, but the wages were next to nothing. James stated at $1.10 an hour and in 6 years, his pay had only been enhanced to $1.23 an hour.
James recalls a story of when he asked his supervisor for a raise stating that he was tired of being paid such low wages for his hard work. His supervisor, Phonse Bean responded with, “Really, by you doing so many jobs, it cuts you high-level pay down to lower pay, to medium grade. Actually, the way I got it figured, you 're fifteen cents overpaid now an hour. But I 'm going to give you a nickel raise-because I think you 're worth it.”
After years and years with White 's, James retired at 65 in 1992 and traveled to Europe with his wife. Most of the employees assumed he would come back, but he assured them he was indefinitely retired. When the employees insisted the company wouldn 't run without him their eerie prediction came true when White 's closed just a year later in 1993.
Don McCall, supervisor of the standing department was hired in 1990 by his friend, Robin Hart who also happened to be president of Hickory White. Initially, many employees regarded Don as a villan who pushed for quantity over quality. But later some of them described Don as a sensitive man
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