Cheek-Clark Building

Housekeepers Confrontation of Plant Manager, Claude Swecker

Document Description: In the spring semester of 1980, housekeeping supervisors threatened to fire dozens of housekeepers who had not been able get to the campus during a blizzard. Following these threats, Gene Alston, a housekeeper widely known to have organized with the Communist Workers Party, was fired. The routine harassment of workers and the politically motivated firing of Alston activated the housekeepers to protest. On March 27, a group of housekeepers presented the Physical Plant Director, Claude Swecker, with a list of demands that included the removal of two supervisors widely known to sexually harass female employees, the ability to use vacation time at any time during the year, the elimination of “warning letters” for employees who were late to work because of inclement weather, the rehiring of Gene Alston, and the establishment of regular meetings for all housekeepers.

Organization: UNC Housekeepers Association

Date: 3/27/1980

Document Type: Photograph

Creator: John K. Chapman

Document Collection: John Kenyon Chapman Papers, 1969-2009

Campus Space: Cheek-Clark Building

Citation: Housekeepers Confrontation of Plant Manager Photograph in the John Kenyon Chapman Papers #5441, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.