Rose Martinez worked at Levi Strauss Company in Albuquerque for 28 and a half years, starting in 1971. She started sewing pockets on men’s blue jeans. After six months, she moved up to Supervisor- Instructor and showed new workers how to sew “on the line” and in a piecework system. Martinez provides a detailed description of work life at Levi Strauss. She reflects on the importance of the company as it provided good paying jobs with benefits for many Albuquerque residents. Martinez worked until the factory closed in 1991 and noted the good severance packages and job training opportunities Levi Strauss offered to laid- off workers. Martinez also explains how the Union drive of ACTWU (Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union) raised awareness of safety on the job. Interview by Diane Pinkey.
The Working People's History of New Mexico Project (WPHNM) is an oral labor history project created to gather the labor stories of working people in New Mexico. While part of the interviews focus on the specific jobs that the interviewees performed, the interviews also explore labor-management relations as well as union, workers council, and social activism participation. The interviews contain information about family and social relationships and offer themes of social and historical interest in New Mexico and the US.