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A collection of interviews and photographs recorded by Women's Archive of Wales in 2013-14

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VSW063 Yvonne Bradley, Morris Motors, Llanelli

Yvonne left school at 14 (1963). She went to Morris Motors in 1967, welding silencers (ha’penny for each one). Met her husband there. Reported bullies to the office. Refused to be union rep or forewoman because not confident of writing skills. But other skills – suggesting ways of improving plugs and machine doors. Managers etc took advantage because she couldn’t put her ideas on paper. Unfair practice – women losing jobs because on maternity leave. She had her son in 1971 but went back part-time (for 5 years) – then full-time then redundant, then on a temporary contract. Attitude to factory girls – she learned to swear. Women better workers than men. Men more militant. Heavy work on the ‘seats’ – arthritis today. Damage to ears, tinnitus. Gas visor and spats etc for welding. Gas explosions – burning hair. Caught arm in a conveyor belt. Paying union fees in toilets, before the union was established - it was a closed shop. Altogether she worked there 40 years. Initiation ceremony for new boys – ‘tickling’ them. If anyone got married - covered in mess. Strikes. The workers had the power. Got 25% off a new car – but couldn’t afford it! Practical jokes. She was very militant. Decorating machines at Xmas and lots of booze. She was in the shooting team. Darts nights and Miss Morris Motors competition. Finished there in 2006.

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