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In 1968, the Ford auto factory in Dagenham was one of the largest single private employers in the United Kingdom. In addition to the thousands of male employees, there are also 187 underpaid women machinists who primarily assemble the car seat upholstery in poor working conditions. Dissatisfied, the women, represented by the shop steward and Rita O'Grady, work with union rep Albert Passingham for a better deal. However, Rita learns that there is a larger issue in this dispute considering that women are paid an appalling fraction of the men's wages for the same work across the board on the sole basis of their sex. Refusing to tolerate this inequality any longer, O'Grady leads a strike by her fellow machinists for equal pay for equal work. What follows would test the patience of all involved in a grinding labour and political struggle that ultimately would advance the cause of women's rights around the world. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Three of the original Dagenham seamstresses invited Sally Hawkins for tea, prior to the filming, as they wished to inform her properly about mindset behind the strike, that she was set to portray in the film. Hawkins' grandmother also worked as a seamstress, although not at the Dagenham factory. See more »
In the opening titles a caption states that "In 1968 there were 55,000 men employed at Ford's Dagenham Factory", yet in the exchange between Mr Tooley & Barbara Castle, Tooley states that Ford employs 40,000 workers in the whole of the UK. See more »
All those in favour of not only maintaining but increasing our current industrial action by going to an immediate all-out stoppage until we get the same rates of pay as the men! Well, why not? Cause that's what this is really about, innit? We're on the lowest rate of the entire bleeding factory despite the fact we got considerable skill. And there's only one possible reason for that. It's cause we're women. And in the workplace, women get paid less than men, no matter what skill they got! Which...
[...] See more »
Captions in the closing credits: "Two years later in May 1970 the Equal Pay Act became law. Similar legislation quickly followed in most industrial countries across the world. Ford Motor Company Limited went on to effect changes in its employment practices and is now used as an example of a good practice employer." See more »
Made in Dagenham is a gem of a film, thought-provoking, entertaining and emotional. It tells the true story of the 187 women working as machinists for Ford Dagenham plant who's fight for better pay and conditions played a key part in the battle for equal pay nationally and internationally. I was moved to tears by the passion and commitment shown by ordinary women taking on the entrenched sexism of the time. A sparkling performance from Sally Hawkins as Rita the leader of the group is complemented by excellent performances from the whole cast including Bob Hoskins, Geraldine James and Jaime Winstone. Aside from the serious issues the film also provides a wonderful wallow in nostalgia for the late sixties. I highly recommend this film, the best I've seen so far this year.
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