Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 37 > Page 16 - Women in the Steel Plant, Part Two Rose Grant Young, Crane Operator

Page 16 - Women in the Steel Plant, Part Two Rose Grant Young, Crane Operator

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1984/8/1 (955 reads)

know--and mine arches--where today they on? ly have rail. Of course, they had markets for it. The mines were crying for the mine arches, and now they don't even use them any more, they tell me. Every section of the plant was working, working, working, all the time. The superintendent in the department that I landed at--it was the plate mill--he told me, "They tell me a woman will never run the rail mill crane." And he said, "You and I are going to prove them wrong!" He was quite a psychologist. And of course, that's all I needed to hear, was that the men were against the women; in other words, that made me try that much harder. (He felt that the men were not going to accept the women on the plant?) Especially in the jobs overhead, where their lives were at stake, see. I carried an awful lot of ton? nage above their heads. And they didn't have faith in the women. I didn't have sense enough to realize what they were putting me into, to tell you the truth. First, they broke me in on the pipe mill cranes, which were wide open bays--in other words, there was no interference. They taught me how to use the magnet and the shifts and all the different things. But they were really getting me ready for the rail mill, without telling me that, see. I thought it was always going to be the long open bays, but it wasn't. (By a long bay, that means...?) That it's all o- pen. It would be like the length of this street. And perhaps they were scarfing the steel. Do you know what scarfing is? They take the flaws out of the steel, big chunks of steel; and I'd have to turn them OPEN 7.00 A.M. TO 11.00 P.M. Bonnie Jean Restaurant Home-Cooked Meals with Fresh Vegetables Gift Shop Groceries and Meats On Highway 105 near the Seal Island Bridge (16) PROBLEM With Your EXHAUST SYSTEM Or SHOCKS? Visit The Master Muffler ((i':l:llLM'| y* FAST Reliable Service ??'f REE Estimates 1' FREE Installation Master Muffler "The Specialist" 349 GEORGE ST. DOWNTOWN Ph: 539-6691 "7>ie Exhaust Sijsiem Specialist" "BESIDES ORANGE IS PRETTIER" over SO they could take the flaws out of them. Things like that. But then he took me to the rail mill. And he told me, "Now, this is what we've been getting you ready for." He said, "This is the one mill that we always make a dollar on." That was the way he described it to me. But he took me to the foot of the lad? der, and he said, "You'll have to go the rest of the way yourself." He was an elec? trical engineer, and he was scared of height. (You didn't operate this from the ground?) Oh heavens, no, I was overhead. Twelve feet, I suppose. All the workings of the crane were on top of the crane. We had to oil them every day and get ready for the shift. Which meant that I'd have to go to perhaps 15 feet. (You not only operated the crane, then, you were respon? sible for maintaining it.) Oh, yes, for oiling it and seeing that it worked. Now, if anything went wrong with the crane, like the fingers--we had the old-fashioned boxes. I suppose you wouldn't even remem? ber the old tram cars, they had the box- type levers. And it's like a finger that makes the connection. But anyhow, as I said, he was scared of heights, so I had to go the rest of the way by myself. But this man, Maynard, they gave me to him to break me in--he was a fantastic operator. He had been there for 35 years. He taught me how to pick up the boxes with the scrap in, take it down, dump it, bring it back. Of course, they were all old men, remember that--all the young fellows were gone. And this old crane-chaser that I had--he must have been 85 then--I think he lived till he was 100! East Coast Kitchens "THE KITCHEN PROFESSIONALS" Thinking of BUILDING or REMODELLING? Building a home or planning on remodelling . your kitchen, drop in your plans or make an appointment for FREE DESIGNS AND ESTIMATES. HURRY NOW • NO COST OR OBLIGATION EAST COAST KITCHENS 87 Industrial Dr., Sydney 539-9682
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download