Spanish Workers at Pessers Textile Factory
The story of José Diaz, who came to Geldrop from Spain in 1963 to work in the Pessers’ textile factory.
Going to the factory for the first time
"One evening in February 1963, I arrived with two other Spaniards in Geldrop, a dark village. We came from Barcelona, a big city, and Geldrop was still very small at the time. The next morning we went on foot to the textile factory. We hiked in the cold, saw how high the snow was and havered for a while. When we arrived at the factory, the next disappointment awaited us, because it was a very old factory with outdated machines and we expected it to be more modern.”
"We soon saw that the Dutch who worked there weren't as well off as we thought. At the end of the working day, they just kept their overalls on, put their coats over them, put on their hats, step on their bike and go home. When it rained, they pulled a plastic bag over their bodies because they didn't have raincoats. I came from the city, wore nice clothes and had a lot of attention when I changed after work. I was hired as a maintenance technician, but it was hard work and I worked a lot of overtime to earn a little extra, but the people at the factory were friendly and helpful. I stayed until the factory went bankrupt.”