The underground economy

vickylass By vickylass, 10th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Employment

An image of my childhood years was seeing whole families, sitting around a table to work on whatever a sweatshop owner had given to them.

The underground economy

One of the clear images I have from my childhood is a whole family, earning their living by wrapping sticks of chewing gum.
They lived in a small flat that was obviously too small for all of them. In the dining room they had a large table where they displayed all these sticks of chewing gum that they had to wrap up neatly and ready to be sold in shops.
The chewing gums showed themselves naked in the middle of this large table. Then, the whole of the family, including the elderly ones and the school children, sat around it. They talked and laughed as they picked one of the naked chewing gums to first wrap it up with a small sheet of foil paper. Then, it was the cover that showed the name of the chewing gum and that of the company's, which was one of these companies that had their offices and headquarters in distant land.
The whole of this family had to wrap hundreds of chewing gums every day. They had to if they wanted to keep things going such as paying for utility bills, food and, perhaps, to save patiently to buy a new and a bigger flat.
Some of them compromised to wrap chewing gums and they were paid a pittance for every hundred of them. Others, liked my sister, painted small figures of rubber cyclists or, others, like my mother and aunt, would finish skirts. It wasn't well paid, of course, and on returning the work done, there was always a supervisor, discarding some of them as according to his view they hadn't been done properly. Whether they had been done well or not was dubious, but this helped the sweatshop few bob each time.
Therefore, if one wasn't fortunate enough to work at an assemble line of cars, radios or televisions, one had to work in what is known as domestic or underground economy. It's called underground, because these people that work in such economy are paid in hand and aren't registered in the Social Security to secure themselves for sick pay leave or a pension. It still exists, although, they'll be called as freelancers and they will get their money lodged in their bank accounts.
These are images of my childhood years of whole families sitting around a table working on whatever they had given them to work on. Then, they took the work that they had done to find a supervisor to tell them ''This and this aren't well done! Not paying for them!''

(C} Copyright. Vicky Pino. September 24th 2014.

Tags

Chewing Gums, Children, Cover, Elderly, Family, Foil, Supervisor

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author avatar vickylass
Feature article writer whose motto is that inspiration does exist, but it has to meet us at work.

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Comments

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Sep 2014 (#)

Awesoem post and informative as well, thanks for sharing it, cheers!

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Sep 2014 (#)

Awesoem post and informative as well, thanks for sharing it, cheers!

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
4th Oct 2014 (#)

Vickylass, excellent article. Thanks for sharing this article. This is a hard way to make money but it does show ingenuity. The family found a way to survive.

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author avatar vickylass
5th Oct 2014 (#)

It may be a naive way to get an income, but this underground economy has kept many families unable to get another job. It's returning despite the changes and it exists in many advanced countries.

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