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Pauline Stringer was a buyer for Aspinall's who appeared at Baldwin's Casuals in April 1980 to check on her company's order. She so impressed Mike Baldwin that he poached her for the position of production controller at Baldwin's, offering her £15 more than she was earning at Aspinall's where she had been employed for ten years.

Pauline's reputation preceded her; shop steward Ivy Tilsley warned Mike that she was a well known unionist, a steward at seventeen. She was headstrong, and committed to doing her job to the best of her ability. Her management style differed to Mike's in that she liked to gauge opinion by chatting to the girls - Mike preferred to keep his distance and warned Pauline against getting too friendly with them. When Ivy tried to get the factory girls a restroom, Pauline did some checks and found out Ivy wasn't registered with the Garment Makers union and forced an vote in which Ivy was formally elected shop steward. Pauline saw this as a victory as Ivy nearly lost to Ida Clough and she might not be so confident in tackling the managers from now on.

A few weeks later, Mike asked Pauline out for a drink, getting her to break a date with her boyfriend Roy. Pauline's father was a Communist and Pauline was apparently an avid reader of Socialist Worker but Mike thought this was an act. After a few dates, they spent the night together at the Brookhouse Hotel. However, he then proved he didn't understand his supervisor at all when he nixed a shopping hour for the factory girls that Pauline had already approved. Mike made light of the situation but Pauline was angry and quit, telling Mike he'd made her job impossible as he'd effectively told the girls not to take any notice of her.

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