Friday, 19 June 2015

Coventry Postwomen

From the Coventry Evening Telegraph, 19th June 1915. 

Postwomen Start Work in Coventry

The patriotism of our women folk, who are displaying the greatest eagerness in taking up work that will allow of men of military age going on service, has been displayed in another direction this week, when in response to the intimation that women were to be introduced into the postal delivery branch of the Post Office a great many ladies have offered their services.  The citizens are now familiar with conductresses on the tram cars, and commencing from Monday next many will have their correspondence delivered by the fair sex.  Consequent upon their special qualifications the men in the employ of the Post Office are particularly useful in the Services, and locally the enlistments from the department have reached a high figure, while many more are waiting to join, but cannot be released on account of shortness of labour.  To overcome this difficulty the authorities have fallen back on the use of female labour for the delivery of letters, and, as an experiment, have engaged five ladies for the work, four whole time, and one for early morning duty.  The postwomen have this week been under instruction, and on Monday will commence duty on their own account.  If the experiment proves successful the number of women employed will be greatly augmented.  Whatever number is required will be easily obtainable from the applications already to hand, for the response has been most spontaneous and gratifying.  Those engaged, besides their patriotic action, will benefit considerably, for good wages — at any rate for women — are offered.  The applicants are of a highly respectable class.

[It's not clear from this whether the women were being paid at the same rate as the men they wee replacing. Whether women should receive equal pay was much discussed when women were recruited into new areas of work.  The comment "good wages — at any rate for women" suggests that in this case they might have been paid a lower rate.] 

No comments:

Post a Comment