DVD: Made in Dagenham

By admin
16 June 2011

Drama.

2010. 108 min.

With Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins and Miranda Richardson.

Director: Nigel Cole.

13LS.

Rating: 3/5

In the late ’60s the Ford car factory at Dagenham, London, churned out countless Cortinas, Anglias, Escorts and Capris.

About 55 000 men worked there – and exactly 187 women, who sewed the cars’ vinyl seat covers and door panels.

It was highly skilled work, yet the male-dominated unions and management connived to have the women’s work classified as “unskilled labour”.

Fed-up with their poor wages the women went on strike, demanding equal pay for equal work.

After bringing Ford’s entire British operation to its knees their demands were met and – with the help of legendary Labour MP Barbara Castle (Richardson)  – equal pay became law in Britain in 1970.

This fictionalised telling of the saga focuses on the women’s leader (Hawkins) and a sympathetic union boss (Hoskins).

It doesn’t stick entirely to fact and there’s added humour and romance to up the entertainment level but the story of how these gutsy women tackled and beat sexual discrimination makes it a powerful watch.

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