Telephone employees shown on April 10, 1947, are Gladys Bolen (left) and Ruby Wilkey (right), as they pace back and forth before the entrance of the local exchange office. (Photo Courtesy of the Glass Family Collection)
Pickets March in First Dayton Strike in Over 10 Years
It all started back in February when negotiations began with the Union. The Southern Bell Telephone Company stated that their employees should be paid well, and that their wages should compare favorably with those paid by other concerns in the community for work requiring similar skills and training.
The telephone company was offering to renew the current contract, but the union was demanding an increase of $3.30 a month. According to the telephone company, the union was insisting upon unreasonably large wage increases.
At the time the strike began, a telephone operator who worked a 40-hour week was averaging between $22 and $27 dollars a week. An installer/lineman was making between $27 to $62 dollars a week.
Even with having a few telephone operators who crossed the picket line to maintain a partial service to Dayton, the remaining employees maintained their night and day stance despite weather conditions at the time.
It is unknown at this time what the result was of the final outcome of the strike. Whenever this information is obtained, it will be posted here with an update.
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