140 years of Excellence
The Factory Meant Everything
There are a lot of examples on how much Dale Fabrikker has meant for Dale village and the surrounding municipality throughout the years, both through the impact on employment, new housing, impact on social relations in the village and last but not least the economical development.
From earlier letters, history and pictures you can see how the development of housing in the village rose in the years around 1879. The first houses that were built was the 4 working facilities that were put up in “Gatå” (The Street) in Dale. The first employees and Jebsen Jr. himself lived there the first years. After this, townhouses were put up and 10 years after the factory started to produce Dale Fabrikker were responsible for dozens of houses that combined could fit 1000 people in Dale. In later times Dale Fabrikker has been responsible for almost all of the development of houses in the village, both early in the 1900 century and after the war when the factory had its real golden age.
Letters from the 1920’s reveals that the local police had challenges in controlling alcoholism. The police sent a letter to the managers in the factory asking Dale Fabrikker to take responsibility for their people, create a cell area inside the factory where they would get one qualified person to help with police cases. There were a lot of people that had little respect for the police, but when the factory threatened with people losing their job if they did not behave, they had to align themselves with that.
Times were not good during the world war 2. It was harder to get supplies and a part of the workers were commanded to work elsewhere by the occupiers. After a while it got harder gathering food. Dale Fabrikker decided to take responsibility for their workers and established a soup kitchen for the workers. In addition the factory few times bought a big load of dry fish and canned food that the workers could divide amongst themselves.
Many associations in Dale has been depending on support from the factory. We can list several occasions where the music association, hunters’ club, the church, song choirs, abstemious association and other associations have all been run by central persons in the factory where they received grants and got to borrow their locations and equipment for events. “Only the best is good enough” was the motto when Dale Fabrikker opened up a kindergarten for the children of their workers in the end of the 1940’s. They got their equipment from special associations in the capital city.
As the new club house for Dale sports club on Geitabakken in 1966 was built the internal newspaper Stoffnytt wrote: “Since Dale Fabrikker is a part of the project, this financial side of the project will most likely solve itself”. And that it did.
But what is the reason for why Dale Fabrikker has been spending a lot of resources on all these measures that must have cost them more then what you would expect from a company to spend on their local population?
You can probably find the answer when listening to workers from both from staff and management which shows how the factory community has been like a big family with strong connections between company, workers and the surrounding community.
In return for all the big and small grants that Dale Fabrikker has offered the village people throughout the years it has gotten a unique bond between company and the community.
As it got stated in context at the mark of Dale Fabrikker’s 80 years anniversary in 1959: “The company’s wellbeing is the worker’s wellbeing”.