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Car workers in the 50s/60s

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slash1
northampton
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1 of 14  Sun 15th Mar 2015 6:32pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:138

Was having a conversation recently, high wages came up for discussion. I think that I recall late 50's maybe early 60's a chap across the road from us getting £40.00 for 4 x 10 hour nights. I'm reasonably sure that he worked for Rootes Group. Any observations, thoughts or proof from anyone.
Car workers in the 50s/60s
coventry49
Devon
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2 of 14  Sun 15th Mar 2015 6:41pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:144

Surely £20 a week would have been good money then?
Car workers in the 50s/60s
fidobsa
Hungary
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3 of 14  Sun 15th Mar 2015 6:44pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2015  Total posts:36

That was good money if it was '50s. The average wage for a man in 1959 was about £13 per week. I think I was on about £44 a week in 1980 but I was not on the full rate for the job due to my age. I was a lab technician and there was an incremental pay scale which meant you had to be 25 or over to get the full rate.
Car workers in the 50s/60s
pixrobin
Canley
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4 of 14  Sun 15th Mar 2015 7:10pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:996

What most people overlook when thinking of the wages in car factories is that most of the pay was in productivity bonuses. If I remember correctly basic pay was around £8
Car workers in the 50s/60s
morgana
the secret garden
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5 of 14  Sun 15th Mar 2015 7:30pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2259

In the mid 60s my dad worked for Rootes, his shift was 2 weeks nights, 2 weeks days, £30.00 a week wages, later it rose to £35.00. He worked on the gearboxes. Edited by member, 15th Mar 2015 11:09 pm
Car workers in the 50s/60s
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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6 of 14  Sun 15th Mar 2015 9:22pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:831

Morgana. I know of the injustice of the payment to female employees before a government had the guts to do something about it. I remember the bleating of employers wailing that it would put them out of business, it didn't, they survived and prospered. Introduction of the minimum wage was greeted with similar cries of woe. When I worked down Newdigate Colliery in the 1950s my take home pay was usually around £40.00 a week and I think that colliers were worth every penny.
Just old and knackered

Car workers in the 50s/60s
morgana
the secret garden
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7 of 14  Sun 15th Mar 2015 9:32pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2259

Oh my Edited by member, 15th Mar 2015 11:01 pm
Car workers in the 50s/60s
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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8 of 14  Sun 15th Mar 2015 10:11pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:831

Newdigates was a big sprawl underground. I worked mostly in the north district, two train rides and a half hour walk from the pit bottom. The south and west districts were a long way from where I worked and hardly got to know those in other districts. After saying that the miner's name you mention does seem to ring a bell, I have a feeling that he was involved in an accident on a man riding train.
Just old and knackered

Car workers in the 50s/60s
rayjones
lincolnshire
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9 of 14  Mon 16th Mar 2015 12:04am  
Member: Joined Mar 2015  Total posts:5

When I started work at BMC (Morris Engines) Courthouse Green in July 1960 as an engine assembly fitter my first pay packet top line was £6.10s. And when I was 21 in 1966 went to full adult rate of £28. Whoopee.
Car workers in the 50s/60s
wincho2
Australia
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10 of 14  Mon 16th Mar 2015 4:51am  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:6

Anyone remember the Coventry Toolroom Rate, one of the highest?? Is this still going?
Car workers in the 50s/60s
Blueleader
Coventry
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11 of 14  Mon 16th Mar 2015 10:29am  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:39

The district tool room average was paid to all time served skilled machinists and fitters at all the top engineering companies in Coventry and district, eg Rolls Royce, Alvis, Dunlop, Gauge and Tool, Webster and Bennett, Alfred Herbert's. Skilled workers at the car factories also attracted the same rates. The tool room rate kept the engineering pay rates at a fair level.
Ric Osborne

Car workers in the 50s/60s
Wimero
Nr Rugby
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12 of 14  Wed 18th Mar 2015 7:47am  
Member: Joined Mar 2015  Total posts:147

I served my time as a printer at Edwards in Quinton Road. All my mates were working at Herberts, Rolls, Morris etc. All earning far more than I was. My dad was a superintendent at the Jag so I pestered him to get me a job there. I was getting married and was keen to earn more dosh. Eventually he relented and got me a job on the final line as an inspector. I went from around £24 a week to something like £35 on days, £46 nights. Started in May'72. Within a couple of weeks there was a big strike and I was laid off for weeks. My dad had made it clear to me that it was guaranteed that I wouldn't work for 52 weeks of the year due to strikes and lay offs, which of course reduced your actual income. I hated every second at the Jaguar and couldn't wait to leave which I did in November '72. Started at The Coventry Telegraph as a junior advertising sales rep and spent many happy years there until some American Wizz Kid bought it and completely ruined it.
Car workers in the 50s/60s
slash1
northampton
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Thread starter
13 of 14  Wed 18th Mar 2015 8:07am  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:138

Having asked a few people, it seems that it may have been mid 60's, but something in the back of my mind still thinks prior to that. I left school at 15 (as indeed we mostly did then), started work at E Laxon & Company on £4.00 per week. I'm pretty sure that most of my friends started apprenticeships in the motor and machine tool industry on about £1.19s a week. A big difference in those days. Some of them, not sure which, did P E sometimes at work!! Wonder what today's people would make of that.
Car workers in the 50s/60s
fidobsa
Hungary
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14 of 14  Wed 18th Mar 2015 8:51am  
Member: Joined Feb 2015  Total posts:36

I wonder how many apprentices there are in Coventry these days? I envy those of you who left school in the late '50s and the '60s. I left school in 1976 and there was high unemployment, so lots of us youngsters were chasing what few jobs there were available. I have never experienced full employment and the freedom to try something different if I don't like the current job.
Car workers in the 50s/60s

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