California State University, Long Beach
 

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Campbell, Freda (b. 2/13/1912 - d. 9/27/2003 )
dc.contributor.author Berger Gluck, Sherna, interviewer
dc.date.accessioned 2021-05-04T02:15:08Z
dc.date.available 2021-05-04T02:15:08Z
dc.date.issued 2021-05-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/218964
dc.description SUBJECT BIO - Freda Campbell went to work at Lockheed in 1942 and remained there for the next thirty-five years, until her retirement. The fifth of eight children born on a farm in VanWert, Iowa, Campbell aspired to be a school teacher. After graduating from high school, she began teaching in a country school, and subsequently attended Iowa State University for one summer session. Bumped from the first job by a superintendent who hired a member of his own family, Campbell went to Des Moines after an unhappy experience in another school. There, she began working as a domestic. She moved to California in 1934 and worked in various domestic and waitressing jobs until she went to work at Lockheed in 1942. She abandoned her aspirations to teach, although she did return to college, earning a BA in the 1950s. Instead she worked her way up from electrical bench assembly work to a salary position in the 1950s. Campbell was quite occupied with a variety of volunteer activities, including the presidency of the local Audubon Society, but was always accommodating and generous with her time. Her home, nestled in the foothills of Glendale, overlooked a large, lovely yard and reflected her interest in nature and environmental issues. TOPICS - formation of Engineers and Scientists Guild (ESG); status of salaried employees; promotion procedures; salaried badge; wages and benefits; job titles and work responsibilities; men's reaction to her promotion andformation of ESG; relationships with co-workers; salary grades; opportunities for advancement into management positions; sexism; attitudes about changing gender-specific language; ESG rating system; job expectationgendered division of labor; affirmative action; changes in her department and in aircraft production; training courses; sexism; impact of menstruation and menopause on work; engineering layoffs in the late sixtieimpact of Robert Gross's death on company-employee relations; European vacation with LERC; medical problems; environmental interests and activism; retirement activities; Lockheed Friendship Club; views on women's m en_US
dc.description.abstract INTERVIEW DESCRIPTION - This is the final of five lengthy interviews conducted with Freda Campbell in the living room of her modest home in the foothills of Glendale. Short and trim looking, Campbell was always warm and friendly, though had a business-like air about her. A history buff, Campbell was quite conscious of the problem of historical accuracy and understood why apparent trivia and details were important. As in the previous interview, she often checked the accuracy of her memory by consulting various documents that she had saved and recovered from her closets. 10/21/1980 en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents *** File: rrrfcampbell19.mp3 Audio Segments and Topics: (0:07-2:59)... There was a distinction between technical employees and management, the former of whom were covered under the union contract of the Engineers and Scientists Guild (ESG). In 1973-74, they learned that while management could be laid off arbitrarily, people in the ESG could not. Campbell details the formation of the ESG, which provided the same retirement program and benefits as Lockheed. (2:59-6:27)... The day she was put on salary, Campbell wanted to celebrate but felt that anything she did would imply that she was bragging about her good fortune. Instead, she treated herself to a pair of earrings. She worried about the reaction she would get in the department because she always heard comments about how people changed after they got an oval badge. She wore her badge low on her clothing so that it was not very noticeable and took it off when she stepped out of the plant. Her carpool partners did not even know that she was salaried until someone else told them. (6:27-8:17)... Three men in her division were promoted at the same time that Campbell was upgraded to senior analyst. After she was promoted, she went to the personnel office to get a new badge. It was an exciting day for her and she recalls that whenever someone got a salaried position, "people sat up and noticed." (8:17-9:58)... When she was promoted to senior analyst, she received a small wage increase which amounted to $2 or $5/week more. The men in her division thought that she should have received a larger wage increase. She saw her promotion as a personal rather than monetary gain. Being in a salaried position also meant she would not be docked when she left work for appointments and she received a better retirement plan and more sick leave. (9:58-12:02)... When she was promoted, Campbell's job title changed from "spare parts analyst" to "senior catalog analyst." Eventually, her title was changed to "senior technical publication analyst" because people did not think the word "catalog" was appropriate. Her responsibilities remained the same and she was expected to continue her contacts with vendors and occasionally go to lunch with Navy representatives. (12:02-18:42)... Soon after she was promoted, Campbell was reassigned to "small books." The work in this section was more precise; they developed the breakdown used by the people in the engineering department for the overhaul of manuals. She describes, her responsibilities in this section, where she supervised a crew of five to ten men. As supervisor, she also was responsible for making sure the manuals went out on schedule and were accurate and inspected. (18:42-26:11)... There were mixed reactions from the men to Campbell's promotion, though few expressed their views one way or the other. She believes that the union was supportive because two of the engineers she worked with active in the union and respected her talents in the department. Even though she had seniority, she was passed over for promotion on several occasions by men with less time in the division. Her skills and seniority, therefore, were not issues that her supervisors considered when denying her higher job classifications. They simply chose not to promote her because she was a woman. End of tape. *** File: rrrfcampbell20.mp3 (0:06-3:16)... When the Engineers and Architects Association (EAA) evolved into the Engineers and Scientists Guild (ESG), the structure and leadership of the organization remained the same. Campbell was one of the few women in the union who was not an engineer. Most of the women engineers did not attend union events on a regular basis, so she had few contacts with them. She recalls working with only one woman engineer in her department. (3:16-8:27)... Even though some women in Campbell's department were resentful when she was promoted to a salaried position, they remained friendly. The stenographers with whom she lunched were happy about her promotion, feeling that she deserved it. Campbell was more likely to associate with the women in her department than the men she worked with except when they planned work-related activities. Some of the men invited her to parties in their homes. She usually declined their invitations because most of them lived in the valley and their social gatherings were couple-oriented. (8:27-11:34)... Salaried positions progressed from salary grade I to salary grade V, which Campbell reached in 1974. She talks about being interviewed once for a contract administrations position. The department manager told her that she would not like the position because she would have to spend time with military men who drank and swore a lot. Although she told him that this wouldn't bother her, she didn't get the position. Once Campbell was promoted to senior analyst, the only way she could advance was either to get a management position or get salary grade increases. (11:34-13:00)... Campbell notes that her section supervisors requested that she use her only her first initial when she authored technical manuals and reports. The thought that people would not have confidence in reports if they knew they were written by a woman, even though other women in the department were allowed to use their full names. Campbell chose not to complain about this because she felt the most important thing was that she was paid for her work. (13:00-14:45)... The only management position Campbell recalls interviewing for was as a contract administrator. Once she received her salary increase, she did not bother searching for other opportunities in the plant. She was paid the same as the men in her job classification and didn't feel that she had any cause to complain. She never objected to being called a "leadman" and feels that women who insist on changing titles to nonsexist terms hurt the women's movement. (14:45-18:13)... Anticipating that she would be re-classified over time, Campbell purchased a home in Glendale just before she was promoted to a salaried position. She felt confident about her financial situation, believing that the worst the company could do was decrease her lead pay. She knew that her position and seniority would be protected under the ESG contract. The ESG had a rating system that evaluated professional growth, job performance, and seniority. (18:13-19:38)... Campbell does not believe that the ESG rating system hindered her from progressing into a management position because she always received good points. The few management positions in her division were held by people with much more seniority and experience than her. When some of the younger men in her division were given management positions on new programs, she understood because most of these programs were meant to last beyond her years in the plant. Although there were opportunities for her to advance into management, she believes that there were probably people better qualified for those positions and she was content with her position and salary grade. (19:38-22:34)... With the exception of Campbell and another woman, who came up from production years later, the people in her division with the same classification were all men. Some started their careers in production and others were veterans who were re-assigned to the department after the war. Many of the veterans were not qualified for the positions in the department and did not last long. Eventually, the department required that applicants pass a blue print test before they were hired in the department. This practice came under fire when affirmative action laws were implemented in the plant because Blacks felt they should not be required to take these sorts of tests. Her department manager refused to eradicate the test and he was supported by Lockheed. End of tape. *** File: rrrfcampbell21.mp3 (0:04-5:18)... Note: there is an interruption in this segment when Campbell answers the telephone. Campbell talks about a woman (Jan) from production who was hired in the IPB section in 1959. Jan did not make salary status until 1971 because it took her awhile to get adjusted to the position and she had a difficult time completing certain tasks. Campbell and Jan were friends and in addition to spending breaks together, they occasionally socialized outside of work. Campbell believes that whenever the company wanted to promote a woman they searched the plant to find out what jobs were already occupied by women. Because he was so pleased with Campbell's work, her boss had decided early on that any woman he might bring into the division had to come from production. (5:18-8:57)... Campbell discusses the turnover in her division from the time she was hired to her retirement. She use to think that her division was a training ground for men. Several of the people she worked with ended up at Hughes either because of contract lulls at Lockheed or because they were dissatisfied with their progress in the plant. She considered applying at Hughes when she thought Lockheed was about to go through another phase of layoffs. She felt confident that she would get a job at Hughes because she had trained so many of the men working there. (8:57-11:58)... She believes that the turning point for women employed at Lockheed came in the 1970s when affirmative action was enforced in the plant. The Navy threatened to withhold payment if Lockheed did not promote more women. Campbell thinks that some of the women promoted during this period were not experienced or qualified enough for the jobs to which they were moved. In 1960, a study in the Lockheed Star reported that only five percent of women in the plant were in salaried positions. (11:58-19:36)... She describes the changes that occurred in her division over the years, focusing on the technological advances that made publishing manuals much more efficient. She also discusses the changes in aircraft production. She occasionally took training courses related to these changes. When she expressed interest in teaching a technical writing course, her supervisor remarked, "Oh, Frida. If you want to teach something, why don't you teach knitting." She once took a course regarding how to prepare women for management. The instructor told women to "get yourself fixed" if they wanted to be in management because they could not lay around all the time recovering from their periods. There was some validity to this statement because many women were passed over for promotions because they allowed their menstrual cycles interfere with their jobs. For this reason, Campbell rarely took a sick day when she was on her period and kept her menopausal symptoms under control, stating, "I didn't want anyone saying that I was cranky because I was going through the change." (19:36-22:39)... There were no women hired in Campbell's department in the sixties or seventies because they could not pass the blueprint exam. A lot of these women complained, but they refused to take the extra step and get blueprint training to improve their chances of getting into this department. (22:39-25:25)... During the layoffs in aerospace in the late sixties, many of the engineers in Campbell's department were downgraded to engineering and flight manuals. They accepted the downgrades because they wanted to stay at the plant. At that time, Campbell became acquainted with one of the women engineers in the department. She worked on manuals for a year and a half before she was reassigned to the engineering department. (25:25-28:19)... As her retirement drew near, Campbell's participation in ESG union activities decreased; the only time she went to meetings was during contract negotiations. She talks about the dinners organized by the ESG, where she socialized mainly with her co-workers' wives. She never felt uncomfortable or awkward attending these events as a single woman. End of tape. *** File: rrrfcampbell22.mp3 (0:07-2:36)... When Robert Gross died, the relationship between the company and its employees changed. Gross fostered a familial relationship with his employees. For instance, he held luncheons in his home for people who worked at the plant when he purchased the company. After his death, his wife canceled these luncheons and asked the Management Club to take them over. However, they felt it was too much of a burden. Campbell comments that when Gross passed away, the "We'll die for Lockheed" mentality among the work force died as well. (2:36-4:38)... In 1962, she took a European vacation organized by the Lockheed Employees Recreational Club (LERC). Other than this, she did not participate in too many of the club's activities because she had other interests outside of work, e.g. the Desomount Club and the Audubon Society. She occasionally went to Lockheed picnics, but for the most part, she was not interested in the types of activities sponsored by the company. (4:38-10:49)... In January 1972, she began having intermittent bleeding and scheduled a D&C in February. She took a few days off work, but was out until April because the doctor discovered malignant tissue. When she was released from the hospital, her co-workers occasionally called her at home to see how she was doing. (10:49-11:40)... Campbell was promoted to salary grade V in 1974. She occasionally thought about pursuing other opportunities in the plant, but notes that she lost her ambition. She retired in 1977. (11:40-13:22)... Her interest in the environment developed in 1954 while she was taking a nature study course in college. She joined the Audubon Society in 1955 and is also a member of the Glendale-based organization called Small Wilderness Area Preservation (SWAP), which was formed in an effort to preserve undeveloped land in the area. (13:22-16:55)... Campbell has stayed very active during her retirement years. In addition to belonging to environmental organizations, she is a member of the (American Association of University Women (AAUW) and a community representative at the YWCA Women's Resource Center. She is also active in church and participates in events organized by the Lockheed Friendship Club. (16:55-18:16)... Commenting on the women's movement, Campbell says: "It has certainly done a lot to help women and it has helped a lot of women who are capable, but it has probably has helped a lot of women who are not." She believes that women should have equal rights and is in favor of ERA and affirmative active. However, she finds fault with hiring quotas because she believes quotas create an unqualified workforce. (18:16-19:00)... Campbell discusses her views on abortion. (19:00-21:29)... Campbell believes that women have more opportunities today than women did in her generation. However, she thinks she did well for herself considering she grew up during the Depression and her economic opportunities were limited. Although she made a lot of mistakes in her life, she could have done a lot worse for herself. Looking back, she probably would change certain aspects of her life, but has few regrets, feeling that she did the best she knew how under the circumstances. (21:29-24:03)... Campbell notes that going to work in defense during the war gave her more security. She never considered her job to be temporary situation, like many others did. She worked hard and did the best she could at her job. She believes that if she hadn't succeeded in tool planning and been highly recommended by her supervisor, she would not have been assigned to spares. She talks about her supervisor and the work she did for him in tool planning. End of tape. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights This repository item may be used for classroom presentations, unpublished papers, and other educational, research, or scholarly use. Other uses, especially publication in any form, such as in dissertations, theses, articles, or web pages are not permitted without the express written permission of the individual collection's copyright holder(s). Please contact the CSULB Library Administration should you require permission to publish or distribute any content from this collection or if you need additional information or assistance in using these materials: https://www.csulb.edu/university-library/form/questionssuggestions-the-digital-repository-group en_US
dc.subject Rosie the Riveter Revisited en_US
dc.subject Women's History en_US
dc.title Campbell, Freda (audio interview #5 of 5) en_US
dc.type Recording, oral en_US


Files in this item

Icon
Icon
Icon
Icon
Icon
Icon
Icon
Icon

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search DSpace


My Account

RSS Feeds