Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 27 > Page 21 - Bernie Galloway: "There were two kinds of men"??

Page 21 - Bernie Galloway: "There were two kinds of men"??

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/12/1 (1095 reads)
 

had a sulfuric acid plant, and I worked in the sulfuric acid plant for 39 years, mak? ing the acid. They'd sell that ammonia salt to farmers--mostly to China one time. And in the acid plant where I worked, we didn't go the full year. You drove for 10 months, then you'd have to close her down because the acid is hard on the lead--you had to stop for repairs. The vats, cham? bers 50 feet by 50 feet and 75 feet high-- then there were smaller ones. An awful lot of lead used. We closed down anyway for a- bout two months. And we'd go out in the yard to work. Then the plant closed down altogether in 1962. The company claimed they lost the market for ammonia salt. They tore down the building and the acid plant. When I retired I was getting $2.75 an hour. Thirty-three cents when I went there. Re? tired in 1964. After working 39 years. And I'll tell you the worst of it. I went over to town to a doctor to examine me for in? surance. I haven't seen the poor old fel? low since. And when he examined me he said, "Where did you work?" I said, "I worked in the coke ovens, in an acid plant." "How many years you work th're?" he asked. I told him. "My God," he said, "you're sup? posed to be dead." There's two kinds of men, like I told you before. There's always a bunch of men that are satisfied, they never want anything-- they work when the men are out on strike-- they go along and do their work and do what they're told, and they don't want any unions. Or anything. Then you'll find the other kind of fellow is active, and he's interested in unions. He wants to make him? self better and his people better...and he gets interested in politics and everything that affects your life. But others you'll find are just "come day, go day, God sends Sunday"--they used to say. (Would you say you were radical?) Well, I wanted things changed from what I was get? ting. I would fight. Some said I was com? munist, but I don't know then what commu? nist is. If I knew what it is, probably I was it. But I read a lot about it and I heard a lot about it. From the time I was a kid of 9 years old, you couldn't put a piece of paper up in a post office in my home town but I had to read it. Sometimes I picked books up off the street and took them home and read them. You'll find a fel? low who's satisfied, and he's going to tell you a story that on the wages he was getting he got along all right, and he didn't mind it. And you'll get another man, and he'll tell you he went through hell, we should have been doing this, we should have got that--we're humans and we're sup? posed to get as much as anybody else who's trying to get a good living in this world. He's active, you see. He wants something. I was on the grievance committee, fighting for the men. And the credit union--I got interested in that. And the cooperative store. I don't believe in capitalism. I claim that capitalism is no good and it's got to change some day. But what i,t's go? ing to change to, I don't know. For their help in locating photographs for this article, our thanks to Cliff Roach and Harvey MacLeod, Sydney Steel Corporation; Larry Boner, N. S. Communications and Information Centre, Still Photo Division; and the Staff of the Beaton Institute. Aneyou aretired Bmmm'mmmm'''m'm in sharing it with owners and M'U9MJrM • '9' managers of small businesses person' If you are retired, possess business experience and think you would gain satisfaction 9 lor with CASE (Counselling Assistance to Small Enter? prises.) CASE is a management counselling service available to established businesses as well as those just getting started. Improving their methods of doing business is the objective. If you feel you would be interested in providing yeur services as a CASE counsellor, please call me, collect: pj ',cDonald, CASE Co-ordinator, 48-50 Dorchester Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia Phone 539-8010 f FEDERAL J BUSINESS 1 DEVELOPMENT BANK r MANAGEMENT SERVICES create the mood of elegance With the unforgettable gift of luxury . . . real fur! i ourcollectr jackets and stoles Choose from Eastern largest selection (21)
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