Interview with Louise Bartley Pitts, June 14, 1987

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:11 - Start of work at Pikeville Methodist Hospital

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Partial Transcript: Louise, let's start your interview by you telling me when you went to work at Pikeville Methodist Hospital.

Segment Synopsis: Pitts reflects upon her job as a cashier in the business office of the Pikeville Methodist Hospital.

Keywords: Admissions offices; Books; Business offices; Busy; Check-in; Check-out; Co-workers; Day shifts; Difficult; Discharge; Help; Interesting; Lab work; Lobby; Medicare codes; Offices; Parking; Pharmacy receipts; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Rallies; Secretary schools; Strikes; Support; Switchboards; Treatment; Writing payments

Subjects: Cashiers; Food; Learning; Meetings; Patients; People; Picketing; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Supervisors; Training; X-rays

00:10:08 - Incidents at work

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Partial Transcript: Well, where were you in relation to Keene's office then?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts recalls an interesting encounter she had with a patient who was related to one of her supervisors, and requested special treatment at the hospital due to his connections.

Keywords: Approval; Credit deprartments; Interesting; Lee Keene; Mr. Thomas; Patients; Perturbed; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Private rooms; Semi-private rooms; Supervisors

Subjects: Blue Cross; Health insurance; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Rates; United Mine Workers of America; X-rays

00:15:47 - Experience with the strike

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Partial Transcript: Well, did everybody in your department come out?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts describes her experience with the strike, and the outcomes she had personally from the strike. Pitts also discusses her history with strikes and unions prior to the Pikeville Methodist Hospital strike.

Keywords: Business offices; Cars; City workers; Co-workers; Cut backs; Insurance departments; Laid-off; Layoffs; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Raises; Salary; Signatures; Strikes; Supervisors; Union cards; Wages; X-ray departments

Subjects: Father; Management; Picketing; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.)

00:20:14 - Work after the strike

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Partial Transcript: Where did you go back in?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts explains why she was laid-off from her position at the business office a few years after the strike had ended.

Keywords: Business offices; Co-workers; Computers; Health; Kind; Laid-off; Lee Keene; Mr. Thomas; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Treatment; X-ray departments

Subjects: Children; Death; Patience; Picketing; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Retirement; Sandwiches; Surprise

00:26:24 - Her role in the strike

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Partial Transcript: Well, tell me what you did when you first came out on strike, Louise. What--you didn't pull picket duty, right?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts considers the role she played in the strike as the secretary for Communications Workers of America (which supported the strike).

Keywords: Busy; Courthouses; Depressed; Dictation; Exciting; Gas allowances; Incoming calls; Laundromats; Letters; Lonnie Daniels; Nice; Offices; Peaceful; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Presidents; Reporters; Secretary; Shorthand; Strikes; Support; Union stewards; Unions

Subjects: Coffee; Communications Workers of America; Daughter; Food; Meetings; Participation; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Sandwiches; South Central Bell; Tickets; Work

00:35:49 - First night of the strike

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Partial Transcript: Now, you went off work at 5:30, did you know they were gonna come out that night?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts discusses the first night of the strike.

Keywords: Admissions offices; Dinners; Exciting; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Shifts; Strikes; Switchboards; Telephone calls

Subjects: Communications Workers of America; Discussion; People; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Southern Central Bell

00:38:23 - Beginning of the strike

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Partial Transcript: So, then what happens in the next few days, for you?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts details the duties that she performed during the beginning of the strike.

Keywords: Bologna; Court hearings; Friends; Funds; Information; June; Laundromats; News; Patient load; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Pimento cheese; Relish; Restraining orders; Scared; Strikes

Subjects: Communications Workers of America; Food; Home; Mayonnaise; Picketing; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Sandwiches; South Central Bell

00:42:39 - Travel for the strike

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Partial Transcript: Did you go on some trips?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts talks of the trips that she went on with fellow strikers to get more support for their cause.

Keywords: Airplanes; Bishops; Car trouble; Conferences; Conventions; Dinners; Driving; Friends; Interesting; Lonnie Daniels; Lunches; Nashville (Tenn.); Nice; Picketing; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Secretary; Sickness; Strikes; Ted Kennedy

Subjects: Brass band music; Clouds; Collection; Crowds; Discussions; Food; Louisville (Ky.); Methodist Church; Money; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Pine Mountain (Ky.); Pittsburgh (Pa.); Singing; Sky; Tennessee; Travel; Travis, Leroy K.; United Mine Workers of America

00:52:55 - Local support for the strike

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Partial Transcript: Well, what other kinds of things did people do locally here to try to get sympathy?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts discusses the efforts of the strikers to get local support for their demands. Pitts also briefly talks of her husband's experiences with unions.

Keywords: Hospital board of directors; Husbands; Misinformation; Non-union man; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Restraining orders; Strikes; Support; Unions

Subjects: Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Work

00:56:13 - Favorite parts of the strike / Pay after the strike

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Partial Transcript: Is there stuff about the strike you miss?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts lists her favorite aspects of the strike. The pay of the workers after the strike is also mentioned.

Keywords: Agreeable; Director of nursing; Encouraging; Family; Increase; Job descriptions; Lonnie Daniels; Organizing; Part-time jobs; Pay raises; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Rare; Scared; Strikers; Strikes

Subjects: Friend; Housekeeping; People; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Siblings

01:02:31 - Memories of the strike / Her daughter and strike

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Partial Transcript: Now, what do you remember the most about being involved in that strike, now?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts shares her most vivid memories of the strike. The role of Pitts' daughter in the strike is also discussed.

Keywords: Attorneys; Courts; Dangerous; Freeze retirement; Honored; Mr. Keane; Non-union; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Relatives; Settled; Strikers; Strikes; Transfers; Union halls; Union stewards; Unions

Subjects: Communications Workers of America; Dogs; Minimum wage; Mother; Picketing; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Security guards; South Central Bell; Time; Winchester (Ky.)

01:10:53 - Family reactions to the strike

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Partial Transcript: Well, I remember you as being real visible and very in front of the strike even if you didn't do picket duty.

Segment Synopsis: Pitts shares the reactions of her family to her participation in the strike.

Keywords: Family; Help; Husbands; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Strikes; Supportive; Unions; Water plants

Subjects: Children; Communications Workers of America; Divorce; Errors; Independent; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.)

01:12:58 - Household during strike

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Partial Transcript: Who else was at home with you then?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts discusses her household during the strike.

Keywords: Apartments; Car payments; Checks; Control; Different; Finances; Free rent; Friends; High-strung; Husbands; Night shifts; Pikeville High School; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Presidents; Savings; Strikes

Subjects: Building; Chores; Clothing; Communications Workers of America; Daughters; Food; Independent; Maintenance; Management; Money; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.)

01:20:30 - Hiring process at Pikeville Methodist Hospital

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Partial Transcript: Tell me why you first applied for a job at the hospital.

Segment Synopsis: Pitts recalls how she got her job at the hospital.

Keywords: Business schools; Courses; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Sister-in-law; Strikes; Telephone calls

Subjects: Blessed; Marriage; Mutual friend; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Work ethic

01:22:46 - Husband / Job security

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Partial Transcript: It was an easy shift for him, you know.

Segment Synopsis: Pitts talks of her husbands and their work history. Pitts also emphasizes the importance of job security.

Keywords: Anti-union; City managers; Community; Day shifts; Dishonesty; Ex-husbands; Excited; Finances; Government; Hospital board of directors; Husbands; Job security; Laws; Night shifts; Pay cuts; Pay scales; Second husband; Security; Unemployment rates; Union cards; Water plants

Subjects: Daughters; Employees; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Retirement; Sanitation workers

01:28:32 - Work during and after the strike

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Partial Transcript: What did you do between when the picket line was called off and when you went back in the hospital?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts examines her work history during and after the strike.

Keywords: Dispatching; Evening shifts; Files; Floods; Homes; Insurance; Jiffy Cleaners; Laundromats; Mistakes; Pay; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Secretary; Strikes; Supervisors; Telephone calls; Terminated

Subjects: Cashiers; Census; Hysterectomy; Insurance; Kentucky Farm Bureau; Maintenance; Picketing; Pikeville (Ky.); Pikeville College; Surgery; Unemployment; United States. Department of Housing and Urban Development

01:35:19 - Work history

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Partial Transcript: What's the first job you ever had? Let's start there.

Segment Synopsis: Pitts provides an overview of all the jobs she has had throughout her life.

Keywords: Acquaintance; Business schools; Dime stores; Educated; GC Murphy Company; High school diplomas; Impressed; Laundromats; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Unions

Subjects: Bingo; Children; Cleaning; Education; Employment--Kentucky; Maintenance; Marriage; Money; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.)

01:41:39 - Lessons from the strike / Personal background

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Partial Transcript: So, as one of my questions, I was gonna ask you what you think you learned out of this experience?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts discusses the lessons that she has learned from the strike. Additionally, Pitts talks of her background.

Keywords: Customers; Farms; Fights; General Educational Development (GED); Grocery stores; Harold's Branch (Ky.); Perseverance; Personnel; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Strikes; Superintendents; Wholesale; Working people

Subjects: Animals; Butter; Education; Father; Gardens; Marriage; Milk; Mother; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Plants; Quilting; United Mine Workers of America

01:47:40 - Family

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Partial Transcript: Well, were they around when you were on strike?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts describes her family, as well as their reactions to her participation in the strike.

Keywords: Apartments; Disability; Dodge plant; Family; Houses; Husbands; Laid-off; Landlords; Miliary; Moving; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Renting; Sold; Strikes

Subjects: Appendix (Anatomy); Building; Death; Detroit (Mich.); Families.; Father; Floods; Maintenance; Marriage; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Poverty; Property; Retirement; Siblings; Working class

01:51:39 - Favorite place to live / Husbands

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Partial Transcript: Where have you liked it the best?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts reveals her favorite place that she has lived. Pitts also talks of her husbands and their lives.

Keywords: Brother-in-law; Elkhorn Creek (Ky.); Ex-husbands; Foul-mouthed; Friendly; Friends; Husbands; Jealous; Landlords; Military; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Quiet; Security; Strikes

Subjects: Change; Daughters; Home; People; Personality; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.)

01:55:51 - Thoughts of the future during the strike / Daughter and grandchildren

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Partial Transcript: Well, let me ask you this question then.

Segment Synopsis: Pitts considers what she thought her future would be like when the strike started. Pitts then discusses her daughter and grandchildren and their lives.

Keywords: Family; Future; Granddaughters; Grandsons; Husbands; Strikes; Trailers

Subjects: Blind; Children; Daughter; Debt; Diabetes; Families.; Grandchildren; Home ownership; Kentucky School for the Blind; Life; Louisville (Ky.); Money; Mother; Photographs; Property; Proud; United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; Weight loss

01:59:30 - Reflections on the strike / Friend from the strike

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Partial Transcript: Well, I want to back up to the strike a little bit more, Louise.

Segment Synopsis: Pitts articulates some of the regrets she has about the strike, as well as some of the things liked about the strike. Pitts talks of the changes to herself that she has experienced due to her involvement in the strike. Pitts also describes a friend that she made through the strike.

Keywords: Advice; Different; Hard workers; Jobs; Maturity; Mean; Mother-figures; No regrets; Paid; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Sacrifices; Salary; Smart; Strikes; Unions; Wife

Subjects: Daughter; Friend; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Proud; Work

02:04:24 - Friend and strike / Bowling / Final thoughts

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Partial Transcript: What did Luther do most of the time during the strike?

Segment Synopsis: Pitts talks of her friend who she met through the strike. Pitts then discusses her interest in bowling. Pitts also attempts to recall some of the people who created interesting diversions out on the picket line.

Keywords: Active life; Bowling alley; Caskets; Control; Disagree; Frozen shoulders; Husbands; Ideas; Illnesses; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Relatives; Strikes; Trophies; Union offices; Wife

Subjects: Bowling; Bowling--Tournaments; Communications Workers of America; Friend; Mother; Picketing; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.)