Letter to President Truman
September 6, 1945
This letter is in reference to the unemployment situation on Long Island, New York. Now that the war is won and over, there are no jobs with a living wage available.
I was one of the first women to be employed by the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. back in March of 1942, now I am given to understand that the Grumman Corp. will not rehire any women in their shop.
The only jobs open to women are office jobs which pay an average wage of $20.00 to $22.00 a week. I happen to be a widow with a mother and son to support and no other means of income. I pay $45.00 a month for rent exclusive of my gas and light and at the present time there is no cheaper place to rent on Long Island. Those being the conditions, I am unable to manage on a $22.00 a week salary.
My reason for writing to you, is not for pity, but I would like to know why, after serving a company in good faith for almost 3 ½ years it is now impossible to obtain employment with them. I am a lathe hand and was classified as skilled labor, but simply because I happen to be a woman I am not wanted.
Won’t you kindly look into these matters and see that the women who are considered the head of a family get as much of an even break as the men.
Ottilie Juliet Gattuss
30 Shepherd Avenue
Lynbrook, New York
Note: This letter is now contained in the National Archives.
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