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Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers, Locals 14 & 205/
Hickey Freeman

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Nobody likes to change things.
We’ve got people — for forty years, the same chair.
All of a sudden, the next morning, the chair is gone.
You’ve got a machine there. What are you going to do?
Changes are changes. You can’t stop change.
You can’t stop progress. We adjust.
We’re not going to be responsible
For closing down the company
Just because a few don’t want to change.
We have to accept that to survive.
So the main object nowadays
Is to make the company successful.

This is our computer-aided design system.
Our whole process is to get our patterns
From our design
And put them in a computer system.
In order for us to get this pattern
Into the computer system
We work on this digitizing table.
Underneath this table
Is a gridwork of all wires.
It will give an x/y coordinate each time
You punch a button,
So it’ll pick up right at that point
And give the exact dimensions of the piece.
That puts it right into a file, right into the system.
We have computerized cutting machines out there
So we can say we want this number to be cut out there:
They punch the number of this marker in,
And it’ll cut the layout.
The big things are speed, accuracy, better control
Of what’s going on.
We used to have thirty-five, forty people doing it.
Well, everybody has a certain way of marking a chart
A little differently,
Or they have their own way of making adjustments.
This, here, it’s done the same all the time.