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00:00:01 - Hospital atmosphere after the strike

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Partial Transcript: Hazel, say your name.

Segment Synopsis: Hazel Ratliff recalls how she participated in organizing some of the events for the progression of the strike. She started organizing soon after she came to the hospital. However, most of the people that worked at the hospital were not very happy that the strikers had returned to their jobs at the hospital once the strike was finished. Ratliff stated that they switched her into the kitchen from the cafeteria. However, she still worked at both places. She claims that she tried to treat the people that were working in the kitchen and the cafeteria the same they treated her for participating in the strike, with disrespect. To rebel as much as she could, she would try to wear her cafeteria uniform on the day that she had to work at the kitchen and she would wear her kitchen uniform on the day that she had to work at the cafeteria. However, at the end of the day, she claimed that she could never be as mean as they were because they were on a different plane with the disrespect that they showed her.

Keywords: "Monster"; Apprehensive; Attitudes; Breaks; Cafeterias; Challenges; Current; Disrespect; Events; Finished; Hospitals; Kitchens; Mean; Organizers; Organizing; Participating; Participation; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Rebellion; Returning; Revenge; Rough; Scared; Separation; Signing; Strikers; Surrender; Uniforms; Union cards; Workers; Working

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

00:04:23 - Inklings of strikers in the hospital

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Partial Transcript: So you're running around trying to get people to sign cards.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff recalls that she was trying to get everyone to sign the union cards while she was working at the hospital. However, she also said that it was only a matter of time before her coworkers figured out what was happening. Some employees were angry, but others were simply scared to death. For example, a girl got on an elevator and got right off when she realized that she was on the elevator with Ratliff. Everyone was scared to be seen with her because they were scared that they would lose their jobs. It took a long time for her coworkers to finally build up the courage to understand what was truly happening in their workplace and sign one of the cards. She even proved this to the girls by telling them that if they were paying attention, they would notice that they were being followed around by the officials. The officials were following them around because they wanted to make sure that they could catch even the slightest wrong move that the strikers made that could be used to fire them. They even were taken into meetings with officials and given warnings about strike-like behavior that could be used to fire them.

Keywords: Angry; Behavior; Examining; Expectations; Fired; Following; Inspecting; Jobs; Nervous; Officials; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Scared; Signing; Stalking; Terrified; Union cards; Wrong

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

00:11:03 - Injury at the hospital

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Partial Transcript: So you proceeded to keep talking to people. Were there other people in the hospital who'd gone back who were also trying to get cards signed?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff states that she still talks to many people who were on the picket line. Ratliff was working with the organizers at the CWA to organize the strike. However, at one point, Ratliff had an injury to her back, an injury that had her off work for 21 days. The injury happened by pushing a cart into the elevator, and before she was completely inside the elevator, some girls pushed their cart into her. She immediately went to the ER, and they sent her to rest at home for a little while. However, she was so high off of the Tylenol that they had given her that she only got as far as driving home and going to bed. She later woke up and tried to look out of her window, only to see her family looking in and asking to come in. The drugs had been so powerful that she could not recognize them for a few minutes. Ratliff says that she worked for about a year after her back was broken. She had physical therapy a few times a week so that she could be fully recovered by the time she returned to work. At one point, she got switched over to a new orthopedic surgeon, who put her on contusions for 16 days. Following this, she was unable to work for a few months. Even when she explained that her back injury might hinder her work but she would do her best, they made up several excuses as to why she would not be able to work. Some of them included that her previous position did not exist or that it was not a position anymore.

Keywords: Accidents; Backs; Beds; Broken; Carts; Collaborating; Collaboration; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Disoriented; Dysfunctional; Elevators; Emergency room (ER); Excuses; Family; Girls; Grandchildren; Grandkids; Heavy; Hit; In-laws; Injuries; Injury; Mistakes; Organize; Organizers; Organizing; Orthopedic; Physical therapy; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Positions; Recovered; Recovery; Stuck; Surgeons; Tylenol; Women; Working

Subjects: Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

00:22:17 - Signing union cards after the injury

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Partial Transcript: Well, tell about the last time that you went to the hospital.

Segment Synopsis: Although the officials did everything in their control in order to not allow Ratliff back to work, even signing a letter of resignation for her, Ratliff still came back to work. She realized people were still signing union cards, so she went along with it. They got people from many different shifts to sign the cards.

Keywords: Communications Workers of America (CWA); Florida; Friends; Officials; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Return; Shifts; Union cards; Visiting; Working

Subjects: Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

00:27:05 - Communications Workers of America (CWA) and United Steel

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Partial Transcript: And that was the last time you tried--

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff explains why she was nervous about the strike because the past strikes had been unsuccessful, so the CWA had dropped the hospital from the strike organization. Additionally, they did not have enough cards signed to begin with. The CWA did not have many men (it was mostly women). Therefore, they wanted to work with United Steel because this organization had a lot of men that they could work with. They believed the men were more capable than the women were at some of the tasks they had to do. The hospital knew that Ratliff was determined to get the strike organized again, especially since she even tried to work with United Steel and tried to convince them to join the strike (although they refused).

Keywords: Attitudes; Capable; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Effectiveness; Hospitals; Joining; Men; Organization; Organizing; Past; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Refusal; Refuse; Signatures; Signing; Tasks; Union cards; United Steel; Unsuccessful; Votes; Women

Subjects: Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

00:31:13 - Transition from Appalachian Regional Hospital to Pikeville Methodist Hospital

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Partial Transcript: Why don't we totally switch gears now and go back to 1971, before the strike.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff recalls that her first job at the hospital was in 1964, when she worked at the Appalachian Regional Hospital. She started out as a dishwasher, but since she was a part of the union she had the opportunity to grow from that position. She eventually became a cashier in the cafeteria. At one point, their union got busted and they did not get enough votes. She talks about the transition from ARH ("the old hospital") to Pikeville Methodist Hospital ("the new hospital"), and the difficulty of cooking the food at the old hospital and transporting it to patients at the new hospital. She talks about how the employees felt about the transition.

Keywords: 1964; 1971; Appalachian Regional Hospital (ARH); Attitudes; Buyouts; Cafeterias; Cashiers; Central sterile; Cooking; Crying; Delivery; Doctors; Employees; Food; Hired; Hospitals; Jobs; Kitchens; Meetings; Mergers; Mountains; New hospital; Orville Hunt; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Positions; Quitting; Remodeling; Supply trucks; Takeovers; Threats; Union busting; Union contracts; Votes

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

00:43:09 - Trying to unionize the hospital again

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Partial Transcript: So you're over there when that stuff's going on.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about how she became involved in attempting to unionize the hospital. She talks about what her job was at that time, delivering food to patients. She talks more about how the hospital changed after the transition to the new hospital.

Keywords: Cafeterias; Changes; Delivery; Employees; Feeding; Food; Jobs; Mergers; Organizing; Patients; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Positions; Telephone lines; Trustworthy

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

00:48:33 - Beginning of the strike

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Partial Transcript: So when they had them both merged, what happened to your job then?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about the working conditions at the hospital after the transition to the new hospital. She talks about the inciting incident for the beginning of the strike, and mentions that she was on vacation when it began.

Keywords: Anna Mae Fields; Cafeterias; Cash registers; Cashiers; Cleaning; Fired; Injuries; Injury; Lee D. Keene; Lockers; Meetings; Mergers; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Returning; Shifts; Vacations; Working conditions

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

00:56:50 - Finding out about the strike and her initial expectations

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so now you're on vacation and find yourself out on strike.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about how she found out that the strike had begun. She talks about her expectations of how the strike would go. She talks about an employee at the hospital bringing his two teenage sons to work at the hospital, crossing the picket line. This man hit a striker in the face and broke her nose.

Keywords: Accepted; Anna Mae Fields; Attitudes; Attorneys; Boys; Broken noses; Cars; Children; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Constables; Courts; Dan Jack Combs; Expectations; Fights; Finding out; Fired; Glasses; Hitting; Losing; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Police; Reactions; Scabs; Shifts; Strikebreakers; Union halls; Vacations; Votes; Waiting; Watching

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

01:06:44 - Activities during the strike

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Partial Transcript: Well, the first thing that happened was you're on the picket line and you witness this first scuffle with Stratton and them.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about some of her activities during the strike, including roasting marshmallows on the picket line, organizing roadblocks and fundraising, and tells a story about being shot at on the picket line. She talks about her attitude about people who crossed the picket line.

Keywords: Attitudes; Board members; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Courts; Coworkers; Crossing picket lines; Friends; Fun; Fundraising; Lee D. Keene; Life insurance; Life or death emergencies; Nights; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Playing ball; Roadblocks; Roasting marshmallows; Scabs; Shifts; Shooting; Strikebreakers

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

01:15:03 - Testifying in court

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Partial Transcript: And really what--I really and truly--what the hospital had against me--

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about testifying, first in the local court and then federal court, about the working conditions at the hospital.

Keywords: Attitudes; Attorneys; Backpay; Evidence; Federal courts; Hospitals; Judges; Lawyers; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Returning; Testifying; Testimony; Treatment; Working conditions

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Strikes and lockouts--Law and legislation.; Women political activists

01:19:05 - Traveling to gain support for the strike

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Partial Transcript: Well, where did you travel during the strike?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about traveling to mines in various counties to gather support from miners for the hospital strike. She talks about traveling to Illinois to try to gather support from the Methodist Church, since the local church was not in support of the strike. She talks about how the miners could have supported the strike more.

Keywords: Boycotts; Evanston (Ill.); Floyd County (Ky.); Fundraising; Harlan County (Ky.); Helping; Local churches; Louisville (Ky.); Methodist churches; Methodists; Money; Opposition; Patients; Picket lines; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Pressure; Support; Traveling; Trips; Union insurance cards; United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)

Subjects: Coal miners--Kentucky; Coal miners--Labor unions.; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Collective bargaining--Coal mining industry; Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Strikes and lockouts--Miners; United Mine Workers of America; Women political activists

01:28:17 - Gathering inside information about the hospital during the strike

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Partial Transcript: Okay, what about, um, the ability to stop people from going in there to work?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about attempting to stop people from crossing the picket line. She talks about how the strikers gathered inside information about the conditions inside the hospital during the strike, including Ratliff wearing a wig to sneak into the hospital.

Keywords: Changes; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Coworkers; Dan Jack Combs; Dirty; Employees; Friends; Guard dogs; Information; Intelligence (Information); Numbers; Patient care; Patients; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Quitting; Registered nurses (RNs); Scabs; Spying; Stopping; Strikebreakers; Treatment; Union halls; Wigs; Work; Working conditions

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

01:35:22 - Trouble getting her retirement funds

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Partial Transcript: When you said "information on backpay" that made me think about when we were getting started you said that you wanted to tell a story about what happened to your retirement.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about the trouble she and other strikers have experienced in attempting to utilize her retirement benefits.

Keywords: Aetna; Anna Mae Fields; Avoidance; Early retirement; Eligibility; Ineligible; Insurance companies; Lies; Meetings; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Retirement; Strikers; Troublemakers

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

01:39:35 - Her contributions to the effort to unionize

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's get back into the strike a little bit again, Hazel.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about her time at the union office and her shifts on the picket line and roadblocks. She talks about her interactions with union organizer Lonnie Daniels. She talks about her own efforts for the union.

Keywords: Attitudes; Disagreements; Efforts; Fired; Jobs; Local unions; Lonnie Daniels; Motels; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Planning; Regrets; Roadblocks; Self-employed; Shifts; Strikers; Union halls; Union offices

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

01:44:33 - How the strikers were treated by strikebreakers

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Partial Transcript: Well, Hazel, when you think back about it now, what do you remember the most about being on the picket line?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about strikers being threatened, called names, and more, by the strikebreakers. She talks about whether she was scared while on the picket line and tells a story about being followed home. She talks about the weapons she carried during the strike. She talks about the tactics the strikers would use to try to convince people to stop crossing the picket line.

Keywords: Alone; Attitudes; Cars; Convincing; Death; Employees; Fear; Followed; Guns; Hit; Home; Husbands; Lead; Mean; Middle finger; Name calling; Nights; Persuading; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Run over; Scabs; Scared; Sons; Strikebreakers; Tactics; Telephone calls; Together; Treatment; Weapons

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

01:52:27 - Overall thoughts about the picket line

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Partial Transcript: Were there things about the picket line that you really enjoyed?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about enjoying her time on the picket line and learning important lessons during that time. She talks about talking to her supervisor after returning to work at the hospital. She talks about what she would do differently, knowing what she knows now about striking. She talks about her son's involvement in strikes.

Keywords: Advice; Awareness; Bosses; Careful; Dependable; Differently; Effects; Enjoyment; Fun; Learning; People; Picket lines; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Quality; Regrets; Returning; Rougher; Sons; Strikers; Success; Super X drugstores; Supervisors; Union cards; Work

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

02:01:03 - Boycotting Johnson Motors

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Partial Transcript: You went down to Johnson Motors?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about why she boycotted Johnson Motors and about being threatened by one of the strikebreakers.

Keywords: Boycotts; Children; Guns; Johnson Motors; Mrs. Coleman; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Scabs; Sewing machines; Threatening; Threats; Transportation; Union halls; Worry

Subjects: Cooking and dining; Labor unions; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

02:04:11 - Gathering information for the strike

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Partial Transcript: Did you go to other businesses?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about gathering intel for the strike regarding where the hospital was storing its supplies. She talks about her tactics for secretly gathering information.

Keywords: Businesses; Fake names; Information; Intelligence (Information); Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Private investigation; Secretive; Spying; Storage; Supplies; United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)

Subjects: Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

02:09:14 - Boycotting other businesses during the strike

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Partial Transcript: Piggly Wiggly, they were involved in it, wasn't they?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about some of the other businesses that were boycotted during the strike due to their association with the hospital.

Keywords: Boycotting; Boycotts; Effective; Gibson's; Injunctions; Picket lines; Piggly Wiggly; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Signs; Tacks

Subjects: Picketing.; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

02:12:15 - Family's attitudes about unions

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Partial Transcript: You said that, um, this was the first strike you'd been in but that you had a--the history of being, um, organized when it was the Appalachian Regional Hospital, under the miners.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about her husband's association with miners' unions. She talks about the attempts to unionize the old hospital in Pikeville. She talks about a laundry facility in town where both she and her mother worked at different times, and the working conditions they faced there.

Keywords: Appalachian Regional Hospital (ARH); Chairman of the board; Coal miners; Ernest Elliott; Family; Hospitals; Husbands; Laundry; Mothers; Opposed; Opposition; Organized; Organizing; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Support; Wages; Working conditions; Worry

Subjects: Families.; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

02:17:58 - Household during the strike

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Partial Transcript: Hazel, who did you usually go to the picket line with?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about who lived in her house during the strike. She talks about her husband's illness and eventual death during the strike. She talks about the birth of her grandchild. She talks about the sources of income for her family during this time. She talks about housework and how her husband helped babysit their grandchild despite being sick.

Keywords: Alone; Anna Mae Fields; Attitudes; Babysitting; Benefits; Black lung; Boarders; Childbirth; Chores; Death; Effects; Family; Finances; Friends; Grandchildren; Helping; Housework; Husbands; Illnesses; Impact; Income; Money; Motels; Personal troubles; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Sons; Support; Wages; Workers compensation

Subjects: Families.; Picketing.; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

02:26:58 - Personal background and employment history

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Partial Transcript: Well, I got a few more questions here that are about sort of Hazel's life story.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about growing up on a dairy farm, her school attendance, and her early jobs. She talks about her parents' backgrounds, and meeting and marrying her husband. She gives the timeline of the various places she has worked, including the laundry facility, the hospital, an ice cream truck, and running a motel.

Keywords: 1978; Accidents; Birthplace; Brothers; Buckley's Creek (Ky.); Bullets; Cecil Ratliff; Connections; Dairy farms; Dating; Death; Ernest Elliott; Family; Fathers; Five & dime stores; Hiring; Hospitals; Husbands; Ice cream trucks; Injuries; Job interviews; Jobs; Killed; Laundry; Leaving home; Letters; Lyndon B. Johnson; Married; Measles; Milk delivery; Mingo County (W. Va.); Motels; Mothers; Moving out; Owners; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Quitting; Ratliff's Creek (Ky.); Renting; Schools; Shot; Sickness; Sister-in-law; Stores; Wages; Wendell Ford; Working conditions

Subjects: Childhood; Education; Employment--Kentucky; Families.; Family farms.; Farm life.; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists

02:45:45 - Children and grandchildren

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Partial Transcript: Hazel, I need for you to give me a list of your children and the order that you had them.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff names her children and grandchildren.

Keywords: Child-rearing; Children; Friends; Grandchildren; Raising children; Sons; Step-grandchildren; Strikes

Subjects: Families.

02:49:25 - Favorite places to live

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Partial Transcript: Um, out of the places that you've lived, Hazel, which one did you like the best?

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about where she has lived and which places were her favorites.

Keywords: "Big House"; 2nd Street; Apartments; Businesses; Dr. Hellier; Homes; Houses; Jobs; Ministers; Motels; Moving; Moving companies; Second Street

Subjects: Employment--Kentucky

02:52:37 - Expectations for the strike

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Partial Transcript: Well, I'll ask you just a w--a little wrap up question.

Segment Synopsis: Ratliff talks about her thoughts about the future during the strike. She says she wouldn't change anything about her actions during the strike, she only wishes she had been younger so she could have done more. She talks about how she has been treated at the hospital as a patient since the strike. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Accomplishments; Age; Better; Blame; Effort; Expectations; Fired; Future; Giving up; Improvements; Patients; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Regrets; Reputations; Treatment; Younger

Subjects: Labor unions; Protest movements.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; Women political activists