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Business & Economy

When Carolina Carpet Mill Workers Fight Back

A group of five people standing together: one Black woman, three Black men and one white man.
Phil Cohen
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Some of the union members who helped Cohen fight against the dismantling of the union at the Eden plant.

He found his calling in a liberal college town, but no university degrees were needed for the fights Phil Cohen would go on to pick with union busters. 

The book cover showing the title and a series of loom equipment
Credit McFarland
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After organizing Chapel Hill transit drivers in the early 1980s, Cohen went on to a career of bringing together Southern industrial workers. As a representative for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (now Workers United), he championed the need to heal racial divides and stand united amidst the export of industrial jobs in the 1990s.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Phil Cohen about his newest book detailing the strategies he used to defend a millworkers union in Eden, NC entitled “Fighting Union Busters in a Carolina Carpet Mill: An Organizer’s Memoir.” Cohen is also the author of “The Jackson Project: War in the American Workplace,” which offers another on-the-ground perspective on labor history and globalization at a West Tennessee textile mill.

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