Cydraddoldeb / Equality

Mae’r cyfweliadau’n mynd yn yn iawn, rhai’n well na’i gilydd wrth gwrs ac yn achlysurol mae rhywun yn taro ar ddigwyddiad hanesyddol sydd wedi newid ein bywydau ni gyd fel menywod yng Nghymru.

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Bum yn siarad gyda Marion Jones o Ddowlais wythnos d’wetha am ei gwaith mewn nifer o ffatrioedd o gwmpas Merthyr Tudful, cyn iddi fynd i weithio yn ffatri Hoover Pentrebach ym 1963.  Arhosodd gyda Hoover tan iddi ymddeol ym 1988. “’Roeddynt yn gyflogwyr da iawn.” medde Marion.

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Ar ddechrau’s 70au, a Marion erbyn hyn yn swyddog gyda’r undeb yn y ffatri, aeth menywod Hoover at eu cyflogwyr i ofyn am gyflog cyfartal gyda’r dynion.  ‘Roeddynt wedi eu hysbrydoli gan fenywod Ford/Dagenham a’u hymgyrch nhw dros gyflog cyfartal ddwy flynedd ynghynt .  Cafwydd cefnogaeth gan yr Ysgrifennydd Cyflogaeth ar y pryd, Barbara Castle, a buddugoliaeth ar ôl i’r senedd basio’r Ddeddf Cyflog Cyfartal ym 1970.  Fe gytunodd y rheolwyr yn Hoover i dalu’r un graddfa o gyflog i’r menywod a’r dynion.

Ond yn anffodus, ‘roedd y dynion yn y gweithlu yn hollol wrthwynebus i’r cynnig ac aethant ar streic answyddogol i wrthwynebu penderfyniad y cwmni.  Serch hynny, fe lynodd y menywod at ei gilydd gyda chefnogaeth yr AS lleol, Ann Clwyd.  Fe gadwodd rheolwyr Hoover at eu gair, a thalu cyflog cyfartal i’r menywod er gwaetha ymdrech warthus eu cyd-weithwyr gwrwaidd i’w hatal.

“Mae pob anifail yn gyfartal, ond mae rhai anifeiliaid yn fwy cyfartal na’i gilydd.”

Napoleon – y mochyn,  yn Animal Farm George Orwell 1945

ON         Ym 2010, fe gynhyrchwyd Made in Dagenham ffilm am streic 1968, ar leoliad yn yr hen ffatri ym Mhentrebach.  Mae’r adeilad eiconaidd Hoover o’r 1940au, yn arddangos baner Ford yn y film ac yn hollol amlwg yn y golygfeydd allanol, a ‘roedd Marion yn adnabod yr ystafelloedd tu fewn i’r ffatri lle saethwyd rhai o’r golygfeydd, oherwydd eu siâp nodedig.

The interviews are going well, some of them very well indeed and occasionally you come across a piece of history that has affected all our lives as women in Wales.

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Marion Jones, who I interviewed last week, worked in many factories in the Merthyr Tudful area over the years. However she joined the Hoover company in 1963  and for the last 25 years of her working life she worked at their factory in Pentrebach, Merthyr Tudful. She says they were very good employers – the best.

At the beginning of the 70s, with Marion as a union shop steward at the factory, the Hoover women approached their employers with a request for equal pay with their male counterparts.  They were inspired by the Ford/Dagenham  women’s strike for equal pay in 1968, a cause supported by Barbara Castle then Secretary of State for Employment and the Ford women’s subsequent victory after the Equal Pay Act of 1970 was passed. The Hoover management, who valued  their female employees, and who were also now actually obliged by law to pay them the same as the men, agreed to their request.

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The male employees at Hoover however were in total opposition to equal pay and staged a unofficial strike to oppose it. The women, with the support of local MP Ann Clwyd, stayed together and their demands were honoured by the company, despite the shameful efforts of their male colleagues derail the agreement.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

Napoleon – the pig in George Orwell’s Animal Farm 1945

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P.S.          A few years ago Made in Dagenham, a film about the 1968 strike was filmed on location at the the now disused Hoover factory in Pentrebach.  The iconic 1940s Hoover building, draped with a Ford flag is easily recognisable in the exterior shots and Marion could spot the rooms that some of the interior scenes where shot in, from their unique shape.

Catrin

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