16989 Wed, 09/16/2009 - 1:13pm
BURLINGTON, N.C.–Crystal Lee Sutton, the union organizer who was the inspiration for the film “Norma Rae,” died on Friday, according to published reports. She was 68.
Sutton was fired for her efforts in 1973 to organize the J.P. Stevens plant in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. The company was eventually ordered by the court to hire her back and pay her back-pay; she returned to work, then quit to become an organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textiles Workers Union.
Sally Field won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Sutton in the 1979 film.