Stephenson and Paul Stewart (2001) 'The Whispering
Shadow: Collectivism and Individualism at Ikeda-Hoover and
Sociological Research Online, vol. 6, no. 3, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/6/3/stephenson.html>
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Received: 14/11/2000 Accepted: 3/10/2001 Published: 30/11/2001
"When I first started I just could not do the job at all - I was doing just a fraction of an overall job that a worker was expected to do. I was helped out by the blokes or I would just not have been able to get through." (Julie, Nissan Worker)
Q....What would happen if you fell behind
A "...I'd do things for me mates. You'd ask the team leader and it would be 'I've not got the time, get on with it' but your mates will help you out. I'd do jobs that were not mine, to help them out....... Management would not be happy with me doing it they would say 'it's not your job don't do it'. .They [management] always say 'team work, team work' but that is not how they actually operate. If someone is flapping they don't want to know - it was every man for himself. But we would help out, the lads, but management did not want you to step in and help anyone because their line would be 'if he can't do the job he should not be here'". (Patrick, Nissan Material Handling)
"As I said they were only out for 40 minutes on our lunch break. When they got back this Supervisor called them into a meeting room. The men said 'what is this about' and the Supervisor was 'Never you mind. Get your bags and belongings and meet us here'. The attitude was terrible - now that supervisor was trying to prove himself 'the hard-man' so that he could climb the ladder and shortly after he did. So these men all ended up in this room the whole team must have been 25, with the two team leaders. The supervisor started saying really nasty .... . One of the team leaders spoke up 'if this is about going to the pub for a drink, then I've seen plenty of senior management come down here and they have had a drink'. [The team leader was later sacked] They were out to get him for that remark he made and for sticking up for himself and for us." (Angela, Sewing Machinist at I.H.)
"We share a taxi into work the four of us, well it makes sense rather than us all going separately. I should have asked them to come back and have a chat with you!" (Louise, Sewing Machinist follow up interview, 2000)
"I had a good friend that I shared a lift with from Consett. He still is [a friend]. He was married with four kids like and he went to the tribunal for me - he put his neck on the line really because if you step out of line at Nissan your cards are marked...yes there were a lot of good lads. I did not know him [the friend] before I went to Nissan like". (Patrick, Nissan Worker, 2000)
" What hurts is that I helped them (part time staff) all when they first came. They would sit at their machines in tears 'I'll never be able to make the target', so I would help them out and finish off their work. Now they are going faster than me and they are pushing up the targets and now I don't know if I can keep up." (Louise, Sewing Machinist, I.H., 2000)
"Louise - she is a really excellent woman, very bright you know and she would do anything for you. She does things for people and she does not get a thank you - I think she gets hurt about it. I say just wait until they want your help again.!....Louise is really good. You see some people talk about the union and you think 'oh really boring' but with Louise she always makes it fun" (Angela on Louise, I.H., 2000)
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