Hand in Mouth Syndrome
Inspired by Marianne Herzogs book Frauen im Akkord, From Hand to Mouth is an account of the experiences of Marianne Herzog and others on the production line in some West German factories which are household names – Philips, Siemens, Telefunken. Backbreaking piecework, boredom, fear of unemployment and coping with ill health, shopping, home and family are all part of the hand-to-mouth existence of these factory workers. The women literally have to beat their wages out of their machines, often with the aid of painkillers. They wear themselves out in the process and can be too old for the job by thirty. These grim conditions are echoed throughout British and European industry, and Marianne Herzog’s book forces us to look beneath the glossy surface of modern industry into the lives of the women who make the commodities we all enjoy.