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16 October 2014
Social Change: Employment 1945 to 1979

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David Torrance

Retired shipyard draughtsman describing the idea behind the work-in. Interviewed in 2004.

 

Photograph of David Torrance

David Torrance

"If we'd had gone on strike and you'd have left the yard and they'd have padlocked the yards because in effect that's what the government wanted to do. What we had to do was stay inside the yards. So you then had a choice stay in the yards and just sit about and bring in sleeping bags. And I think we couldn't handle a situation like that with 7,000 workers in the shipyards. So the shop stewards committee had a meeting and they came up with the idea…why don't they work in! Obviously what was going to happen was that they would pay so many of the guys off, so they would have to have collections; put in so much off our wages each week; pay for the guys getting paid off and those that wish can come back into the yards and work. It developed from there ...it lasted for what ...18 months."

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