chapter  8
6 Pages

The Stronghold of Labour Graham Turner

Parallel to the decline of traditional heavy industries in County Durham has been the rise of factory industry. This began in the inter-war period. The present chapter describes a study which was made of the opening of this new factory and of the experience of ex-miners working in the textile industry for the first time. The choice of Coutaulds out of the three large enterprises to study in Spennymoor was made for two reasons. Firstly, unlike the other two concerns it was a new factory, where one could study the dynamics of change at first hand, as the factory opened up. Secondly, it was known that the firm intended to recruit male labour for all except office jobs. All applicants for jobs were also warned of the four-shift system which all except senior management and office staff worked. Courtaulds factory was planned to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, using the 'continental' shift system.