If you see no other film this summer, you need to see this one.
It’s the story of a group of women working for the Ford Factory in Dagenham, UK who decided that not only were the 187 women machinists worth more because of their skills, but that all women should have equal pay.
It’s a classic. It has it all. Staunch women, men who aren’t so sure, one corrupt union official and another who has his principles intact. It shows how American Ford went to great lengths to try to influence (or threaten) the UK government to ignore the women strikers. (Things haven’t changed that much here I reckon when we think about the Hobbit.)
It led to the UK Labour government introducing the Equal Pay Act in 1970, and shows Labour MP, Barbara Castle’s involvement in that decision.
The UK Equal Pay Act led to other countries doing the same, including NZ. Our Equal Pay Act (or as Pansy Wong liked to call it, the Pay Equal Act, became law in 1972 (and yes, under a National government). We were following rather than leading, so Tories shouldnt get too carried away.
Pity about Pay Equity – but go see it. Reminds us all that left to employers, self interest and greed comes first.
Thanks Dagenham sisters and mothers.