Industry: water, steel & energy

Mate, Derek (3 of 9) National Life Story Collection: Lives in Steel

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  • Recording date

    1991-11-1; 1991-11-11

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Cleveland

  • Interviewees

    Mate, Derek, 1926- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Dein, Alan (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 3: When Manager of billet dept., strike, talked to men at Victory Club Hall. Got them back to work. Discipline. Safety. Traffic Dept., dangers, wagon pile-up. Accidents, loco ran over little truck on railway, 2 men killed. Man ran over had to be shovelled into a sack. Lost own thumb, caught between spring and spring hinge of 20 ton container. Example of safety, man committed suicide, walked into an open hearth furnace. Cast into ingots and put into tip. (Heavy rainfall). Prevent accidents, truth behind an accident. Sometimes an accident was covered. Accidents in billet finishing, never knew how it happened, man died. First aid. Ambulance room, eye and ear testing, inspectors. Difficult to get unions to accept, 'Welfare top of the list'. Accidents - disregarding of rule, 'careful of how you talked to people'. Managerial 'expletives' - people don't understand what they're talking about. Talk simply. Not educated to talk any other way. Hot metal. Refractories. Careful about standing water. Explosions, slag dumps. (End of Rainfall) Difficult to get people enthusiastic about safety. Good habits, managers must never walk past people transgressing the rules. People have got to be managed. Loss of concentration. Relaxation, play golf, family. Enjoy job, live with stress. Enjoy success, OBE when retired. "Lot of blokes have done a lot of hard work for me, at all levels". Father liked things doing properly, fortunate to work for a good company. 1984/85 brought Teesside its profit, great success. Loyalty for works. Scale of works not a good thing in many ways. Nationalisation took peoples loyalty away. Stocksbridge, isolated local community. Consett similar but 'people looked to the works to provide them a living'. "Ten years ago it took two men to change a lightbulb at the works."

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