The Bottle Factory Outing

The Bottle Factory Outing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just signed a petition urging the CEOs of GAP and H&M to take urgent action to ensure safety of their workers in Bangladesh factories. Join me. — https://secure.avaaz.org/en/crushed_to_make_our_clothes_ss/?ddDiwab

Globalisation has ultimately helped no one…except filthy rich Global capitalist empires, who pulled people away from their ancient rural lives and traditions into filthy cities and dangerous, polluting factories.  One of my first jobs, age 15, was as a machinists’ ‘runabout’ in a small clothing factory in Great Yarmouth Norfolk. (Was’t there such a place in every town?) The women machined so fast you could hardly see their hands… In this case, rather than a ‘sweat shop‘ atmosphere, Johnson’s was a family firm run in a kindly fashion.  They made mostly industrial garments: chefs jackets, fishermen”s smocks, overalls etc.

The women machinists had the incentive of a basic rate plus ‘piece work’.  One friend saved enough in less than a year working there on piece work (the more you machined the more you earned)  for the deposit for a house …   It was a smallish factory.  They organised days out (works outings) (reminiscent of Beryl Bainbridge‘s Bottle Factory Outing story). I wasn’t there long as I moved on to become a waitress in a Holiday Camp – far more glamorous!! But, I have very fond memories of my time working there especially flirting with the boys in the mechanics’ workshop  also the packing room! (I was sweet 15)!

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