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16 October 2014

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Life After Redundancy

By John Sennett
June 2003, Cardiff
A digital story from Capture Wales

An uncertain future?

The future looked uncertain for John when he was made redundant after working with A.S.W. for nearly forty years.

"In the summer of 2002, I faced the fact that after working for forty years since leaving school, I would be signing on the dole for the first time. A couple of days after returning from holidays, I went to the steelworks, A.S.W. to convince myself it was closed. After working there as a railway shunter, then a train driver for nearly thirty three years and missing only one day in the first thirty one - Where did it get me? A small payout and no pension.

I visited job employment services and the unemployment office, and on both occasions I was in a daze at what they were saying. I am still on the lookout for a job that will suit me.

It took me until Christmas to get over the shock, but since then I have started to enjoy myself a lot more. My two dogs keep me out and about. My main hobby is local history and every week I attend a history society meeting, which I could not have done if I was still working shifts.

Over the years I have transformed my garden from a forest into a vegetable patch. Due to working extra shifts, I was unable to keep it tidy. A friend of mine then turned it into a patio garden.

The thing I miss most is my annual holidays abroad, after seeing over thirty different countries with so many memories.

After what happened in 2002, my main worry about looking for a job is self-confidence."


Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 56 year old single man. I was born and brought up in Adamsdown and I have no regrets about my lifestyle. I never get fed up and I'm always active.

What's your story about?
It's about the after effects of being made redundant at short notice, then finding out that there is no pension. I had worked there for most of my life in that one place. I chose to tell this story because the rest of the 800 workers who lost their jobs were let down badly and I feel for the ones with families and mortgages to look after.

What did you find the most rewarding aspect of the workshop?
I enjoyed being able to start with writing my own story and mixing it with pictures and special effects to viewing the finished film. It was unbelievable.

Streets of Cardiff

Your comments

"My immediate thoughts are: a) where did 40 years' worth of John's pensions contributions go? There are no acceptable excuses, it was his money, invested(?) on his behalf, by trusted (?) fund managers (?). Of course, our government encourages self sufficiency in this respect, though taxes you in full on the proceeds, has now brought about the destruction of company schemes and causes increases in indirect taxation as it redistributes our money to suit its own 'good' causes. Pensions have been the most outrageous financial fiasco of the last 50 years. b) Even though John could do a good job well, he will meet continual age discrimination. I was in IT, and they say there's a skills shortage. There isn't, there's just a limited supply of 35 year olds with an apparent 20 ambitious years in them. Recruitment is also fronted, sorry 'outsourced', to cherry picking recruitment 'consultants' who have no idea about what skill is relevant to another. If you read this John, this is what I've found after two years. Look on the bright side and enjoy your free days." Russell G, West Sussex.

" i think it is very sad that people like john put a lifetime of working in A.S.W to end up with no pension and it is the duty of this government to pay up to these dedicated workers, so much money is wasted in this country on other things so why cant they be paid back the money they put in all those years of working there, i know how john feels about having to leave the steel works my husband worked at G.K.I.S.for 25 years he cried the day they closed down and like john he never took any time off on the sick, but unlike john my husband was fortunate to have been paid off with a pension. john my heart goes out to you and the all the other workers of A.S.W." Daphne Salter, Tremorfa Cardiff.

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