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)
Sandie Shaw who sang the film's title song used to work as a punched-card operator in the Ford plant at Dagenham several years before the events depicted in the film. See more »
The Mark 1 Cortinas shown as being manufactured in new and archive footage ceased production two years earlier in 1966, when the squarer Mk 2 was introduced. See more »
[following her talk with Rita, Connie and the rest of the Dagenham women, Barbara Castle makes a statement to the waiting journalists]
I am delighted to announce that, following our talks this afternoon, the 187 Ford machinists *will* be going back to work on the 1st of July. They will receive an immediate pay rise of seven pence an hour which will put them at 92 percent of the male rate. However this is not all. As a result of our discussion, I can confirm that the Government is in full support...
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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 »
Written by Desmond Dekker (as Dekker)
Performed by Desmond Dekker and The Aces
Published by Universal / Island Music Ltd and Sparta Florida Music Group Ltd
Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd 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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