Download A Hidden Workforce: Homeworkers in England, 1850–1985 by Shelley Pennington PDF

By Shelley Pennington

ISBN-10: 0333432975

ISBN-13: 9780333432976

ISBN-10: 1349198544

ISBN-13: 9781349198542

Homeworkers tend to be ladies who paintings of their personal houses for an outdoor organization and are paid on a one-piece foundation. The paintings is generally unskilled and of a run of the mill and repetitive nature. the industrial prestige of the homeworker has little or not anything in universal with the self sustaining craftsman operating in his own residence earlier than the onset of industrialization; homeworkers paintings with no supervision and feature no actual touch with their employers or sub-contractors other than while amassing or returning paintings. This quantity is an research of the commercial and social place of the predominantly lady labour strength of the homework industries from 1850 to 1985. The textual content examines adjustments that experience happened within the composition of the labour strength, the choices open to ladies and the categories and geographical situation of homework. The authors severely assessment makes an attempt to enhance the location of homeworkers and touch upon the customers for homeworking sooner or later.

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Additional resources for A Hidden Workforce: Homeworkers in England, 1850–1985

Example text

In general, those women who could not find work in the mills went out 'charring'. There was no huge reservoir of unskilled female labour to attract the homework employer. Even after marriage many women could still find work in the mills. No doubt the tradition of industrial militancy, higher wages and greater independence of women in the industrial North also created conditions in which it would have been difficult to recruit the passive, and docile labour force associated with homework. Homework also tended to do well in those areas of the country where there was a surplus of women.

The spinners were unorganised and completely at the mercy of their employers. Under the domestic system of manufacture. employers usually gave out the raw materials but the workers owned their own machines. The system differed from the preceding guild system where the workers were independent producers owning their own raw materials and their own machines. The whole relationship between employer and employee was transformed under the domestic system. The worker also had to sell his or her labour power.

Manufacturers of boots and shoes cut out the materials and gave the work to subcontractors. The homework was always very irregular and particularly so during the winter months. Three of the processes commonly done as homework were closing (sewing together the upper parts, which was easily done by machine); making (the attaching of the sole and heel to the uppers); and finishing. Finishing involved a variety of tasks such as knifing, cleaning, lining, sewing on buttons and packing. The introduction of machinery led to an increased use of unskilled female homework labour.

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A Hidden Workforce: Homeworkers in England, 1850–1985 by Shelley Pennington

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