VSW061 Eirlys Lewis, Vandervell Productions, Cardiff;Mettoys, Fforestfach;Alan Paine, Ammanford;Pullmans Flexolators, Ammanford
Eirlys left school at 15 (1964) and started in Pullman’s Flexolators, making car seats, springs etc. Everyone got on there. Smoking while working. Paying Union fees but not the % to the Labour Party. Dirty work. One dangerous job because of acid - coating things with paint. Teasing young workers – fetching elbow grease. She learned to live there. Lots of swearing. She heard about the Aberfan disaster when in the Alan Paine factory. She made a mistake going there (stayed only 9 months); then to Mettoys for 3 years (1966-9) on the assembly making toy cars. Some of the girls were very fit. Then she worked on a farm for 2 years. In 1972 she went to Vandervell Products, Splott, Cardiff – for 10 years making car and lorry parts. They opened a new department (c.1976) and girls now did the same jobs as the men. One man asked for her help. Interviewed by the BBC about her job as a mechanic. Social club – she played ninepin bowling. Good money. One woman lost her fingers in a machine – compensation. In 1976 there was a strike about being too hot – she refused to join because she believed the company was doing its best. She was sent to ‘coventry’ for 4 months. One woman objected to her speaking Welsh – answered her back. Girls not allowed to work on night shift. Then she got married and worked for periods in Llangadog milk and Carmarthen cheese factories.