Women postal service employees



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Women postal service employees

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Women postal service employees

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Janet Judd interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Janet Judd : women postal workers, 1950s-1960s RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979-07-17 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Janet Judd was hired as a part-time postal clerk and then became full-time in 1960. She was one of the first women to achieve this position. The conditions at that time in the post office were "horrifying"; no air conditioning; working for hours while standing; loss of hearing due to noise; mandatory examinations to determine wage increases. When she applied for work in the post office, she resisted placement in a clerical position and fought to become a clerk. Later, she fought to become the first woman dispatcher. Mrs. Judd was the sole support for eight children, and was pregnant when she began to work at the post office. Her case helped to establish both the principle of maternity leave for postal workers, and through this the recognition by the post office that women were a permanent part of the workforce there. TRACK 2: With other women clerks, she resisted male co-workers who harassed women clerks. She became active in the association as a steward. Some of the issues which came up consistently were: racist attitudes towards herself and other non-white workers; discrimination and patronage in hiring; the establishment of mirror surveillance systems in the bathrooms; establishing union recognition and the right to strike; shift changes and services for women with children. During the 1965 strike, management tried to bring scabs in through an old CPR tunnel; the union stopped this. Mrs. Judd had been a student at Strathcona School, and was deeply affected by the Japanese internment, as many of her closest friends were interned. She has been active in many Black organisations, including the Negro Citizens' League, and other civil rights groups.