Film ID:
NEFA 9090

ACCESS: WORKING WOMEN

1975

Visitor Tabs

Description

This edition of the Tyne Tees Television programme 'Access' looks at the pay and conditions of women who go out to work to supplement the family income. In order to organise themselves a group of women are trying to establish a working women's charter group at their place of work. They make representations to their union, who initially are unsympathetic. The film also includes interviews with women who are trying to find jobs with good pay that will fit around family commitments.

The film opens on a woman pushing two children in a push chair while holding the hand of another as they walk along the pavement. The film cuts to another woman pushing a push chair across a back lane behind some terraced houses, she passes by a supermarket. The commentary states that it is 1975, International Women's Year. Another woman with a push chair crosses a busy road. A road sign on the wall says St. Georges Terrace (Jesmond, Newcastle?).

The film cuts to a group consisting of one older woman and three younger girls walking towards the camera along the pavement. The older woman is the presenter of this film and speaks to the camera about women's struggle for equality in the workplace. Some old still illustrations follow showing women working on farms alongside men. The older woman describes how the nature of the work became more divided after the industrial revolution.

The film cuts to a young woman putting money into a telephone in a telephone kiosk. She is trying to find work and is arranging an interview. She exits the kiosk with a small child. Another child sits patiently in a push chair outside the kiosk. The older woman seen earlier asks her about her job prospects and how the children might be looked after. The film cuts to a nursery school where children are playing at hospitals, dressed as patients and nurses. The film cuts to a play group where mothers play with the children and look after babies. The next shot is of a woman, who is a child minder supervising young children playing with a number of puzzles. The film cuts back briefly to the young woman who was in the the telephone kiosk.

The film then cuts to show a Job Centre sign. A young woman hand in hand with her children looks at the jobs on offer in the window. The camera slowly zooms in on the woman and her children. A close up of the vacancies in the window shows the cards on display. A close up of the woman and childs face follows taken from inside the job centre looking out. A close up of a vacancy card, shows an advert for a shop manageress. This cuts to a shot of six or so cards together on display. The older woman interviews the young woman and queries her about her work aspirations. She complains that most of the jobs on offer are for a limited number of hours.

The film cuts to a long shot of a woman walking on a pavement towards the camera. The commentary states that Flexitime is now being offered in some workplaces. The camera pulls back to show the word 'Out' on a brick gatepost with a large office building in the background. This is probably the D.H.S.S. office at Longbenton in Newcastle. The film then cuts to an artist face painting a group of young girls.This sequence shows other artists and actors entertaining children during the school holidays. A face painter applies red paint to the faces of some youngsters.

The film cuts back to the Job Centre and the woman seen earlier. She is then seen ringing a wet cloth into a bucket, then scrubbing the floor of an office with a stiff brush. An overhead shot shows her scrubbing the floor. The film cuts to a nurse walking along a pavement near to hospital buildings. She explains to the older woman her aspirations in organising a balance between home and work. The film cuts to an internal shot of the nurse at work with a colleague checking on medicines for patients (?) the nurse checks a ledger while her colleague looks on. A close up follows of the nurse studying the ledger.

The film cuts back to the older woman and her daughters crossing the road towards the camera. She says goodbye to one of the girls, and then the remaining three turn and go back up the road. The film cuts to a bus stop where the trio wait to catch a bus. A bus marked 'Cleadon' pulls up at the stop and they gets on. The older woman leaves the bus and the film cuts to a shop front with a sign above it that says 'The Dairy'. The camera pans right to the shop entrance and the older woman leaving the shop. She pauses to put a newly purchased loaf of bread or cake into her shopping bag. She checks her watch. The film cuts to her place of work, which is at a hospital checking and folding bed linen on a trolley. A nurse comes over and speaks with her. She continues with her work folding the bed linen. The nurse leaves, and a close up follows of the the woman continuing to fold bed linen. The film cuts to a notice board, with a notice for a meeting with the working women's charter group and trade union representatives. The woman is seen looks at the notice.

The film cuts to meeting room where a man addresses the meeting of the women's group, and trade union members. Three women represent the women's working charter group including the older woman. The women state their case strongly to the chairman outlining the varying reasons why women look for work. A brief close up of one of the trade union men listening to the proceedings. The chairman of the meeting states that any grievances the women may have, will need support of the trade union. The women point out that other commitments outside of work might restrict attendance at union meetings and their union membership.

A long shot follows of the older woman walking down a street towards the camera. She is walking home with her shopping. She walks up the garden path of her house and into her home. The film cuts to the kitchen where her family are sitting around a table. Her husband is cooking at the stove, with his back towards the camera as she enters the kitchen and puts her shopping on the table. One of her daughters helps empty the shopping bag. The woman turns to the kitchen sink to dry some dishes. She sums up the message of the programme and talks directly to the camera. She outlines the aspirations of the Working Women's Charter Group, to work as one with the trade union in any negotiations with management. She goes back to to drying dishes while talking with her family.