Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Women machinists at Ford Dagenham voting to strike in 1968(Pic: Pat Mantle/TUC Library)

Sometimes film and music is said to reflect the mood of the country - the box office hit film ' Made in Dagenham' directed by Nigel Cole seems to fit in this category.

The film tells the gritty story of women machinists in 1968 employed by the Ford motor company taking industrial action to demand basic workers rights – in this case, equal pay with men doing similar jobs in the company.

The story not only brings out the sexism of the time but also exposes the cosy relationship between the Bosses and the Trade Union Leaders who are more concerned for their conditions (junketing, status etc) then that of the workers.

It also shows the pernicious nature of the relationship between multinationals and government.

The personal development and confidence of the ordinary women workers is the dynamic that keeps the Bosses and Trade Union leaders on their toes.

The film sends an optimistic message to workers that by standing up for your rights – even in the most difficult circumstances that you can win struggles and also have a wider positive social impact on society.

If the film attendances in 2010 are reflecting a growing mood of interest in workers struggle in the country then Clegg and Cameron face a turbulent time ahead.

The film is currently showing at Rugby Cineworld.

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