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Herb Green oral history interview, January 16 and 23, 2006

Identifier: GreenH_L2006-04

Scope and Contents

Interviewed by Phil LaPorte: Initially focusing on his early life, Green recalls working as a drug store “curb boy,” at a dairy, in a shoe factory and in a meat packing plant to help support his family after his father was relocated to a Ford assembly plant in Cincinnati upon the closure of the Ford plant in Atlanta in the early 1930s. Green speaks about being drafted into the Army late in 1942, his experiences training in Atlantic City, and his service in Okinawa and in Japan. Green goes on to discuss his discharge from the military in 1946, his working for Crane Heating Company, and his beginning with General Motors and union involvement in 1949. After talking about his quick rise to the position of committeeman, Green stresses the importance unions hold in the workplace. Rather than organizing and threatening to strike simply to demand higher wages, Green emphasizes that the union works to ensure such concessions as a safe and healthy work environment, cost of living adjustments and unemployment benefits. Green further discusses his rise to Chairman of the Shop Committee in the Doraville plant and his appointment as International Representative by the UAW in the Education and Political Department in 1964. Green recalls that as International Representative he was involved in political and legislative affairs. He discusses in particular his involvement with the first Sam Caldwell campaign for Labor Commissioner of Georgia as well as his involvement with Jimmy Carter’s campaigns for governor and president.


  • January 16 and 23, 2006


Restrictions on Access

Available in Reading Room and online

Biographical Note

Herb Green was born in Norcross, Georgia on July 6, 1921. Unable to regularly attend school due to the financial needs of his family during the Great Depression, Green worked several jobs during his teenage years. In 1942 he was drafted into the Army where he spent three and a half years in the Army Air Corps. Green was discharged from the service in 1946, and began working at the General Motors plant in Doraville, Georgia in 1949. Immediately joining United Auto Workers (UAW) Local # 10, Green was soon elected to a leadership position. In 1964, having served 10 years as the Chairman of the Shop Committee, Green left the Doraville plant upon being appointed as an International Representative by the UAW. After more than 20 years as an International Representative for the UAW, Green retired in 1986 and since then has been an active member of the retirees’ chapter of the UAW.


2 Item(s) (transcript (88 pages) audio (3:52:48 duration))

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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