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John Kane 1

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Title:John Kane 1

...we had an incident in 205, we had basically, one of the Process Workers put on a charge... couldnt... argue against the charge, but the Team Leader was let off with it... and when we looked at it, they should have both been, on a charge, they should have both been... set free, anyway, they charged the Team, they charged the Process Worker and left the Team Leader alone, so we organised four half day strikes, one for each shift, and Graham said, at the time Graham was the Head of Site and he er, we had half day strikes on Friday afternoons, so [laughs] it fitted with the darts playing, Friday nights, lads could out on back shifts Saturday, so we had like... four shifts all took half day, consec, consecutive Fridays, half day strike.  Then Graham called us in the office with the Convenor and the four Shop Stewards, and I always remember he said Well lads, he said, Youve had your fun, you know, Back to normal operations now, well... I says Graham, this is only the start! and he lifted his arms up and... banged the table, all the coffee cups went up in the air, he says You neednt think youre going on [pause] ing my plant around, you neednt think youre gonna get away with that! and er, but I think Bernard was convinced, he just sort of smiled, you know?  But anyway, we had, we negotiated a, an agreement where, the people were treat fairly and equ, equitable, you know, it had to be.  So he had, he did have a bit of a downer on me when I first went in, but in later life, I say we had a fantastic working relationship, he, used to call me in of a morning for a cup of coffee and said Ive heard the rhetoric John off the managers, whats going on, whats reality, whats it like there, whats the troops doing, why they doing it? you know?  And we, we built up a... second to none working relationship.

GW Sort of a mutual respect?

JK Very much so, you know, we er...  One of the times I was going to apply for a... job with the Union, as a full time officer and he basically got me in the office and told me Im going nowhere, he says [laughs] Youre not going anywhere, you know and... there was another story which was er, I, I was actually... I always tried to be forward thinking and I had a simple philosophy if the company succeeded, we succeeded, if it went under, we went under.  So as long as you worked within certain parameters... I was, I was in me comfort zone.  You know and that way you got the credibility as well.  If you told a manager they were wrong, and you, you know, they, they listened.  Cos they knew I wouldnt tek [take] them on at something I thought... you know, I, I used to often go in there and say to the er, if someone was on a charge and they, they wouldnt accept my advice, or they wouldnt listen to what I was saying, I used to go off and sometimes go and say make it worse, give them a days [inaud] and make them realise.  You know and thats the only way to get respect... er, from both sides really, from the, from the, the shop floor and from the er, the managers, but it was a... a really really difficult role, as a Union Leader, you  walked into a canteen, you walked into the canteen and everybody would stop talking, all the managers would stop talking and all the shop floor would stop talking, and you were basically walking the line, and its all, which side of the fence you gonna fall on what issue.  But I, I must admit it was... the most enjoyable time of my career at Sellafield

Narrator:John Kane
Short Biography:JK00001-b
Full Transcript:JK00001-f