IT STILL HURTS ONE YEAR ON; Hundred of Staff Clocked off from Work at the Hoover Factory a Year Ago for the Last Time. Catherine Evans and Kelly Miles Spoke to Some Former Workers about Life after Hoover

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), March 15, 2010 | Go to article overview

IT STILL HURTS ONE YEAR ON; Hundred of Staff Clocked off from Work at the Hoover Factory a Year Ago for the Last Time. Catherine Evans and Kelly Miles Spoke to Some Former Workers about Life after Hoover


Byline: Catherine Evans ; Kelly Miles

AFTER 60 years of making hundreds of thousands of washing machines and tumble dryers, the production line at the Hoover plant fell silent.

The day shift clocked off for the last time and the doors were shut a year ago - in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Twelve months later and scores of the former Hoover workforce are still thought to be out of work.

The end of Hoover in Pentrebach remains too painful for many of the men and women who lost their jobs.

Jack Jones, the Unite union convener for Hoover, said he was trying not to dwell on the first anniversary.

"The past year has gone very quickly. I'm one of the lucky ones as I managed to get a job last April," he said.

"I managed to get low-paid jobs but I know of some who are still out of work 12 months on.

"We were going to have a reunion but I think people just want to try to forget.

"We're still bitter about how we were treated - our views counted for nothing."

Mr Jones, who started working at Hoover in 1985, said: "It was an extremely worrying time for a lot of families. We didn't have good payouts and that rankles with a lot of people, given the amount of years some worked there.

"It still concerns me what will happen with the Hoover cricket ground. It keeps a lot of children off the streets.

"It would have been the honourable thing to do to give the ground to the cricket club."

Another former worker, Len Wilding, 52, was at Hoover for 22 years before the plant shut last year. He has been one of the lucky ones.

"I left my job in Hoover on the Friday and I started work in my new job on the Monday," he said.

"I had seen it coming and I had put the feelers out before the closure came. …

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