Present Perfect Simple versus Past Simple 4

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!
Fill in the correct form of the verbs. Choose between the Present Perfect Simple and the Past Simple.

Mr. Wilson has worked at the ‘Cotton Works Factory’ for more than forty years. Now he is about to retire. Here is his story.

When I (to start) working there at the age of 16, the firm (to employ) some 30 people. Now there are 250 workers in the firm. So the number of people working here (to grow) by more than 200 over the years.
Forty years ago we (to produce) some 100 shirts a day. But in forty years time the daily output (to increase) enormously. Production (to fall) sharply in the early eighties, and so (to do) the number of people working here. But since 1995 we (to have) a steady rise in sales and employment year after year. Now we produce 5000 shirts per day.
Forty years ago the firm (to work) only for the British market, but since 1985 markets (to open up) in most European countries all over the world.
When I (to begin) to work here, production methods (to be) rather primitive. Now they are up to date. In fact they have been developing all the time.
Also working conditions (to improve) constantly. In the late sixties people (to work) almost 50 hours a week, Saturday mornings included. Since then the number of working hours (to fall) steadily. Now we are at 38 hours per week. Saturday work (to be) abolished in 1975.
Labour relations (to improve) as well. Managers and workers (to come) to the conclusion now that co-operation is better than conflict.