A Hidden Workforce: Homeworkers in England, 1850–1985 - download pdf or read online

By Shelley Pennington

ISBN-10: 0333432975

ISBN-13: 9780333432976

ISBN-10: 1349198544

ISBN-13: 9781349198542

Homeworkers are typically girls who paintings of their personal houses for an outdoor corporation and are paid on a one-piece foundation. The paintings is mostly 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 out supervision and feature no actual touch with their employers or sub-contractors other than while gathering or returning paintings. This quantity is an research of the commercial and social place of the predominantly woman labour strength of the homework industries from 1850 to 1985. The textual content examines alterations 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 significantly review makes an attempt to enhance the placement 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

Sample text

Homework also tended to do well in those areas of the country where there was a surplus of women. For example, a great deal of homework was carried out in Nottingham where the surplus of women was particularly marked. In 1901 there were 16000 more females than males in Nottingham. Lace and hosiery were the two major industries and employed female labour both inside and outside the factories. Certain processes required factory conditions and a predominantly female labour force was instrumental here in keeping labour costs down.

The homework included chevroning stockings or socks, herring-boning the necks of vests or putting a silk flap on to the front, button-holing and much seaming (joining the parts of a garment together).

A large number of sack-sewers were therefore recruited from the East End and in particular the poorest districts such as Stepney. The sacks had to be sewn down both sides and hemmed along the top. It was very hard work and women's hands were often cut and sore from the tar rope and coarse needles. One investigator reported that a woman had sprained both her wrists while making coal sacks for ships. Each of the coal sacks had four splices, eight holes and two patches. They had to be sewn and roped and a large 'R' worked on to them.

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


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