Unequal pay

Sam passportSam was born in Jamaica and came to live in the UK in 1960. He recalls his first job working at a chicken processing factory where he soon discovered that his pay was a lower scale than the white men doing the same job. This image taken from his passport show Sam as a young man in 1960 when he first arrived in the UK.





I remember I work at umm, the chicken factory once, you know, and one incident that I have there, and that open my eyes, urr, I were working with a English man when, I young just come here then you know, that, and we were doing, a lot, o, early morning work both of us were doing the same work, very hard, very strenuous, and when we get the pay, we used to get pay fortnightly, when we get the pay packet he look at his and he look at mine and he said to me that's not right, you know? and the the supervisor or the foreman, come up come along while we were looking at it and he said to him errr... John be like the monkey, see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing, and such words you know. And then, I didn't know what he meant then, you know?

So I said to the chap, what he meant by that? Say like he must keep his mouth shut. You know? so that mean they underpay me, though we do the same work they didn't, they pay him so much more than they pay me, you know? And I learn from that, I didn't make a complain, you know, because making complain who you going to make it to. You know?

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