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Post letters: Ford strikes, RAF dad, microchip cats and help for carers

PUBLISHED: 16:31 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 12 June 2018

Mrs Barbara Castle (centre), with six of the eight representatives of the striking Ford sewing machinists. Picture: PA

Mrs Barbara Castle (centre), with six of the eight representatives of the striking Ford sewing machinists. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Was closure cost of Ford strikes?

Mr E F W Dean, full adress supplied, writes:

With reference to your report from Jon King about the factory strike at Fords by the 187 women in June 1968.

Although the action started in 1968 triggered equal pay for women, it should be noted that the seven week strike they created in 1984 would seem to have attracted no attention.

As a result of the 1984 seven week strike cars were being made without seats and being stored at great expense to the company. This resulted in plants in Europe also suffering because of this strike because they were supplied trim.

As a result of this long strike and the delay of production of completed vehicles throughout Europe, Henry Ford stated that no plant would ever again be held to ransom by any strike at one plant.

This was the start of Ford moving out of Dagenham?

It started when the Sierra was moved to Belgium.

It continued when Ford then started to produce complete seats by company called Johnson Controls. Thus the end of trim production at Dagenham.

The women may have got their equal pay but at what cost?

Where are the car plants at Dagenham now?

Proud of dad’s service in RAF

Murray Scott, proud RAF son, writes:

Each Father’s Day I am thankful I was one of the lucky ones, my father, Spitfire pilot Allan Scott, returned from the Second World War to continue his career in the RAF and become grandfather to my three children and, more recently a great-grandfather for the first time.

I am grateful my father was not one of the thousands of men who did not become fathers or left children behind, having made the ultimate sacrifice so that we, the next generation, may live in peace and freedom. I am immensely proud of my dad and his RAF service, selflessly taking to the skies, in the defence of our nation when he knew the odds of survival were often slim.

Allan flew throughout the war, most notably taking part in the Battle for Malta, helping to free the stricken island from a years-long siege which had left its people dying of hunger.

For those who were not as lucky as my family, I am grateful that the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund stepped in to help those bereaved and injured during the Second World War and continues to stand side by side with them, and all of those who have served since.

I know my father and his fellow RAF comrades were not the first generation and sadly will not be the last to risk everything to protect our shores.

But they do so in the knowledge that should the worst happen, the RAF Benevolent Fund will be there in their hour of need.

If you know an RAF veteran who is struggling and could benefit from some extra support, please call 0800 169 2942.

Make sure cats are microchipped

Mark Beazley, Cats Protection’s director of operations, writes:

This Microchipping Month, Cats Protection would like to encourage people to get their cats microchipped.

We also want to help people understand what to do if they find a stray cat, as findings from a recent survey showed that 52 per cent would approach a cat they suspect to be stray but would fail to find out if the cat has an owner.

Key things to help decide whether a cat needs help, include checking for a collar if the cat is approachable.

If there are no visible signs of ownership, we strongly urge people to take the cat to a local vet to be scanned for a microchip.

People can also ask neighbours if they recognise the cat and check local papers and social media in case the cat is listed as missing.

Microchipping cats increases the chances of a reunion because it is a permanent and safe form of identification. Once microchipped, it is important to keep the chip details up-to-date.

Microchipping could mean the difference between a happy reunion or a sad separation. Cats Protection reunited 3,000 cats and kittens in 2017 through our national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 adoption centres.

This is a number we hope to increase by encouraging people to microchip their cats.

A video created by Cats Protection, showing that cats can’t do the things people can do to find their way home, as well as further advice on how to help a stray cat, can be found at: cats.org.uk/microchipping

Support and advice for carers

Lucy Harmer, director of services, Independent Age, writes:

Every day, another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility and, by 2037, it’s anticipated that the number of carers in the UK will increase to 9 million.

To coincide with Carers Week 2018, Independent Age, the older people’s charity, has launched a new, free advice guide to help people identify as carers, and access the practical, financial and emotional support available to them.

The guide, called ‘Caring for someone: How to get the support you need’, is suitable for anyone who might be a carer.

It explains carers rights, and the benefits, services and support available to help look after someone else. It also looks at what happens when a caring role ends.

Caring can be a positive experience but can also be emotionally and physically challenging.

Many older carers have long-term health problems or a disability themselves.

‘Caring for someone’ contains information and advice for everyone, regardless of how much care they provide, including how to apply for a carer’s assessment, which can assess the impact of a caring role on your wellbeing.

‘Caring for someone’ is free to order and download from independentage.org/caring-for-someone, or can be ordered for free by calling 0800 319 6789.

To make a donation or find out more about how you can support the work of Independent Age and help older people stay independent, please visit independentage.org

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