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16 October 2014
Social Change: Employment 1945 to 1979

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James Cloughley

Retired shipyard worker

 

Photograph of James Cloughley

James Cloughley

"There were badges of office. From the foreman up they wore bowler hats and were considered staff men. The staff men were part of the management and the management were, of course, part of the owners. So there were differences."

 

"There's a dilutee and a tradesman and a chalk line. The chalk line was used for marking straight lines on plates. These plates could be anything from 15-20ft long. So they chalked the white line, stretched the white line from one end of the plate to the other. One man at one end one man at the other. The dilutee wanted to twang the string. The tradesman said “No yer no. There's no way your twanging that string”. As a matter of fact, it ended up as a dispute where they actually went on strike over it. This issue, absurd as it may seem, that was the level of craft protection that men considered essential to protect themselves, their jobs and their families."

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