Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 37 > Page 5 - Women in the Steel Plant, World War 2

Page 5 - Women in the Steel Plant, World War 2

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1984/8/1 (357 reads)

any circumstances, it could be dangerous. There was no smoking allowed in the lab where we were working at all. And this is one of the reasons why my par? ents felt it was a very safe place to work. There were so few people. And the fact of all this security, due to the flammability of the product. In one way, it was danger? ous, what you were working at. But if all the rules were kept, that was all right. (Were your parents in support of your work?) Oh yes, yes. It wasn't so unique at that time. I think if I had been going through the plant and working with the men--but we were working in an isolated section as chemists. And the fact that we were using our training and our experience through labs in school, and just doing it over again--it wasn't something entirely different. Like, some of the women who were working--we used to watch the women out the lab window who worked over around the coke ovens cars. And they had to wear asbestos suits and asbestos gloves, and Dorothy Mackley Dobranski they were sorting the coal as to sizes. Well, see, we weren't involved in any of that. That was quite a change, to have wom? en doing that kind of work. Our biggest problem was getting back and forth to work, because the (regular) shift changed at 11 o'clock--(but) our shift changed at 12. So we'd have to get from Victoria Road into the benzol plant, which was quite a dark walk. We always had to make sure somebody was walking with you. Sometimes the watchman would come out and meet you, because it was very, very dark. That was one little bit of an inconven? ience . I worked shift work, I guess, for three years. And then I went on all dayshift. The other girls were still kept on shift work. I worked all dayshift as their super? visor. And then, they were let go first. I was kept on for almost a year, I think, after they were let go, as the men were coming back. The man who came back to take my job, he had been a prisoner of war. And when he came back, they gave him his choice: did he want to go to the main lab down at the plant, or back to his old job at the benzol lab. And he chose the benzol lab. So they offered me the job to go down to the main lab. But my father wouldn't let me do that. 'Cause I'd have to go through the whole plant to get to work, and it would be entirely a different type of an atmosphere that I would be working under. So, it was time to pick up my teach? ing again. (But did you want to go to the main lab?) At the time, I sort of wanted to go. But it meant I would have to go down into the noisy, dirty end of the plant. In other DON'S FLOWERS p. 0. Box 179, Port Hawkesbury, N. S. BOE 2V0 Serving Port Hood, Judique, Inverness, and sur? rounding :areas. Telephone 625-2215 or 625-2717. CHICKEN CHALET fried 5outlets to serve you- C.B. Shopping Plaza, Sydney Riyer Sydney Shopping Mall, Prince St. Blowers St., North Sydney Sterting Mall, Glace Bay Plummer Aye., New Waterford Whale Cruises Capt. Bill Crawford, Cheticamp Boat Tours, P. 0. Box 10, Grand Etang, N. S. (902)224-3376 Co-operative Artisanale de Cheticamp Limitee p. 0. Box 98, Cheticamp, Inverness Co., N. S. (224-2170) CHETICAMP, N.S. ' . ,, , ' . Produit de lame crochete. Finest hooking in virgin wool is our specialty. Acadian i Acadian Meals r-i.yciv-nai I Soupes - Mets au poisson Museum ' ' '''' ' '' ''''''' Crepes aux pommes de terre Our shop is located in Cheticamp on the Cabot Trail. Monday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. May 15 - Oct. 15 (5)
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