Dole diaries

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job in Boys from the B

lackstuff epitomised the plight of the unemployed. This week leaked Treasury papers revealed the misery of those days under Margaret Thatchers 80s Tori

es c

ould be coming back as 1.3 million people will be thrown out of work thanks to Chancellor George Osbornes cuts. Officials expect 700,000 public-sector and 600,000 private-sector jobs to go by 2015. Many who lost their jobs in the 80s never worked again and they know only too well how it feels to be thrown on the scrapheap in the prime of your working life. Here two of them - a former factory worker from Central Scotland and a one-t

ime steelworker from North East England - plead w

ith the ConDems not to make the same mistakes as their predecessors. We lost an industry and rebuilt with services and now that could go THE FACTORY WORKER Jim Swan, 70, lost his job when the Leyland lorry factory at Bathgate, West Lothian, closed in 1986 leaving 6,000 men unemployed, driving unemployment up to 25% among men in the region. I was shop stewards convener at the plant and twice defeated plans to close it before we finally lost our battle. I was a maintenance man and after we lost our plant it was so hard to find an

y direction for life. Id worked there for 23 years and couldnt imagine not having a job again. Money was tight at home and that bought a lot of stress. We had to rely on my wife a l

ot more as she was working. The problem was in one swoop everyone in the community had lost their job and there were thousands o

f men chasing any opportunity. Id travel around looking for work or spend the day wandering the streets with other blokes like me. I tried to retrain and took an electrical training course at a college but when I tried to get a job I found they didnt want someone my age. When I worked I had a purpose in life and then

suddenly I didnt. You could look around and see it was the same for lots of people, some were just too far from retirement to stop working but too old to get new jobs. It was awful seeing the way people had their life and plans destroyed. It took West Lothian 15 years to recover and now it looks like it could all happen again. Since the factory closed in the 80s a lot of people have found work in the public sector with the council but Im worried these new cuts will knock us back 15 years. I was lucky and eventually found work with a union advising people who were losing their jobs. Im scared for the future. We lost an industry last time and rebuilt ourselves thanks to the service industry and n

ow that could go. Im not sure we could recover this time. You try every day to get a job. Its devastating when doors keep closing The steel Worker Kenny Baggott, 63, from m

iddlesbrough, lost his job when the

steelworks that employed him wa

s shut dow

n 15 years ago. I was working for various construction firms including as a subcontractor for British Steel until Thatcher started destroying our industries, crushing the unions and causing thousands of people like me to lose our jobs. After

the steelworks shut down about 8,000 people got laid off. It was devastating. There was nothing left after 15 years working in the industry. I lost my wage of around 500 a week. My wife had to move to Southampton with my daughter Tracy to find work but I was still pursuing jobs all over the country. We got divorced - the pressure of searching for work had a lot to do with that. I have been surviving on dole money of 60 a week. It makes me angry because I have tried very hard to find work but nobody wanted to know. I applied for warehouse work, stacking shelves in the supermarket, anything - but nobody would take me on because there were younger people going for the same jobs. You struggle without that income, you sell your car, you eat cheaper food and you go without. You often hear people talking about those on the dole being lazy but many thousands of people like me really want a job and have tried every day to get one. It feels devastating when doors keep2020第69期跑狗图 closing in your face every time you apply for a job, but you have to keep on trying. The manual skills people like me have got are dying out and young people are getting no training so that we can rebuild these industries - many have never had a job in their lives - so its no surprise that crime starts to rise. A typical day for me since losing my job is going to the Jobcentre then visiting the working m e n s club for a few hours.

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