VSE067 Christine Chapman, Roller Blind Factory, Llwynypia;Gainsborough Flowers, Porth
Christine’s mother worked in factories e.g. Flex Fasteners and found her part-time holiday jobs. She worked in Gainsborough Flowers when in the sixth form – making artificial flowers on old-fashioned machines. She even worked with a candle! During university she worked in the roller blind factory. She felt some of the women were bitchy – they played tricks on them. She became very efficient in the roller blind factory and the Trade Union person asked her to slow down. Some form of bullying. Bosses talked down to the women. She worked on the presses. Had to have permission to go to the toilet. She worked in the flower factory c.1973-4. Radio on and banter going on all the time. She used to daydream and plan ahead. Risqué stories – repeats one. Talks of some harassment. She was just passing through. She learned a lot about intimidation too – held her in good stead as a politician. How the management treated the women was an early feminist lesson. She’s been in the real world. She talks about her career as a Labour politician.