During the War, women found themselves able to work in a variety of new jobs once thought unavailable to them. Here, four women smile for the camera as they take a break from driving a delivery truck for the CF&I’s Colorado Supply Company Store Division. The company store, which sold goods for home and work, were found in nearly every one of CF&I’s mining communities and received its inventory of goods from a warehouse located just west of the Minnequa Steelworks in Pueblo.
Equal pay for equal work may seem like a modern, 21st century controversy. In 1943, two women, Olga Peters and Helen Youngman, filed a grievance with CF&I’s industrial relations department, requesting that management compensate them not at the $0.81 per hour they were earning as truck drivers, but at $0.88 per hour, the same rate as their male counterparts. The women made the case that they had been on the job for three months, and thus, were experienced, and claimed they were fully able to perform the full contents of their required work. After months of intense research, D.E. Mayhugh, trucking supervisor, and J.R. Irwin, Employee Representative, responded in an official statement that “these female truck drivers are used almost exclusively in the driving of dump trucks at one specific location. The work required of them does not require a considerable physical effort, as they are neither required to load or unload the equipment. They have been instructed also that they are to drive the trucks and do nothing else. In case of a blow-out, they are not expected to assisted in the removal of the tire or repair them. Therefore, it is apparent that these girls are not required to the same quantity and quality of work performed by our other truck drivers, and because of this, their request is not to be granted. I consider that they are not performing the same duties as male employees, and therefore, are not entitled to the same rate of pay.”
Thank you for visiting our online exhibit, CF&I Women of WWII. For more information on our collections or to view other interesting exhibits please visit us at www.steelworkscenter.org