FEBRUARY 27, 1943
NEW YORK, Friday—Yesterday morning I found my old friend, Mr. Frank Harting of the General Motors Company, awaiting me at my apartment. There were several other people who were going out with us to the General Motors factory in Linden, New Jersey. A group of factories in the East have become the Eastern Aircraft Division of the General Motors Company.
I had been asked particularly to see this one, because of the efficient way in which they feel they are running their cafeteria. Right after our arrival at the factory, we went to look at the counters before the next shift came in for food.
I have seldom seen a more attractive room. There was plenty of light, flowers on the tables, and the otherwise plain walls were decorated with banners and War Savings Bond posters. The food, itself, was arranged with such an eye for color, that the whole room looked as though some painter had made a picture with the object of giving one an impression of light and color.
We then saw a movie depicting the whole conversion process of the plant. This gave me my first idea of how much is involved in changing over from the building of motors to the building of planes.
About one-third of the employees are women, and they expect to go up considerably, probably to employing fifty percent of women in the plant. They also expect to increase the total number of workers in the next few months. They have four women counselors in charge of the women, who take an interest in their problems and who are there to be helpful.
I saw the Red Cross rest room, with two nurses in charge. Each girl has a locker and a clever arrangement of locking her coat to the hanger, as well as keeping her bag in safety. We had lunch in the cafeteria and it was a good meal.
Then we walked through the plant and I had an opportunity to talk to this little section of the larger army of workers, which, today, throughout the Nation, is making it possible for people all over the world to win the battle of democracy. They were a wonderful looking group and one could not help feeling very proud of America's working men and women.
In the afternoon, I had a meeting at the Cosmopolitan Club in the interests of the Women's Trade Union League, to which a number of New York State union leaders came. Miss Rose Schneiderman and I were anxious to talk over the problems of the League and its oppotunities for usefulness in the future.
Last night, Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and I went to see "The Patriots." We both like historical plays. Perhaps, at the present time, it is a good thing to see a play like this and to realize that one's anxieties are no greater than those which Washington and Jefferson endured in founding our Republic. I thought the play well acted and enjoyed the evening very much.