Crystal Lee Sutton
, (formerly Crystal Lee Jordan
) is an American union organizer
and advocate who gained fame during the early 1970s. She was fired from her job at the J.P. Stevens
plant in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
for trying to unionize its employees. She made $2.65 an hour folding towels. The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union
won the right to represent the workers at the plant on August 28, 1974. Jordan later became a paid organizer for the ACTWU.
Jordan was the 13th recipient of the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award in 1980. The honor was named after a 1963 encyclical letter, Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth), by Pope John XXIII, that calls upon all people of good will to secure peace among all nations.
The 1978 film Norma Rae starring Sally Field is based on Sutton's early union work.
Her unionization papers and memorabilia are deposited at Alamance Community College in North Carolina, where she took classes in nursing in 1988.