The other day someone told me a story of how things once were for many women in employment.
The story concerned a middle aged woman who started work as a cleaner in a medium sided fashion
store. She cleaned the building every morning for three hours then went home to care for her two
children coming from school.
In time the store was expanding so she got her employers two more cleaners who she knew needed the work and the money. The clerk in the office told her that with the new NHS being formed it was
wise to pay what was termed the big stamp-this meant that she would get a pension of her own and not
be reliant on her husbands pension. Her wages it seemed were not large about £3 per week and the stamp was a big chunk out of that. But she looked at the arguement and thought it worthwhile since her husband was a labour and though money was very short-the future mattered.
The other Cleaners did not pay the “big stamp”, so took home more money and also cost the firm less in payments for the said insurance stamps. All this was apparent when the time came and the firm was took over. The new owners decided that the original Cleaner was too expensive to employ since she cost them more in insurance stamp payments. So after working for the firm more than 10 years she was dismissed, no payment in leiu or redundency or firms pension.

Things have changed alot for women even in the lowest paid jobs since this true story was being lived. There have been regulations regarding lots of the problems this woman encountered and protection though not complete is thought of for part time workers and full time workers.
For how long is a further question which I am sure her grandchildren if she has some might now be
wondering. Conditions described exist in many countries and are even worse. Perhaps we should be looking at improving those, not copying them.

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Watching the TV, all sorts of comments on the present situation with the Eurozone, the cuts etc.
The worry is no one mentions that a social democratic society where employment is protected and full employment is the aim, with a social health system (NHS), and structures in place in regard to social promoted ideals, this is a closed economy.
It maintains the status of industry etc.
While the markets are not impressed by this form of economy.
The cost of production raises dramatically.
So for example in other models of economy the costs of production are constantly being revised according to reduction of costs.
The money follows cheaper production-low rates of pay, few employment restrictions,
a less than perfect health protected society.
Its all about waste and cutting costs basically.
So the programmes go on and on. Love the aspects of the interviews talking down to the audience. Its all pictorial. It is as if words don’t matter. Listening is an old fashion skill.
Was at a meeting on health listening to others talking about the new structures being developed. The words people use reflect who they might have been talking to or have heard. It is often a window into their mind when they express feeling unconsciously, by their very phrases. Even if a person is not being spontaneous, listening to what they say is illuminating.
And it makes the speaker feel they matter, when they realize someone is really listening. It illustrates a human condition of concern. Reading a script has not got the same attraction.