This website is based on an exhibition “Striking Women: Voices of South Asian women workers from Grunwick and Gate Gourmet” which was held at The Women’s Library Foyer from October 2009 to March 2010. The exhibition was based on a research programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), entitled Subverting Stereotypes: Asian Women’s Political Activism: A Comparison of the Grunwick and Gate Gourmet disputes.
These two disputes, which involved migrant women workers of South Asian origin, took place almost thirty years apart. There is a great deal written and reported about the Grunwick dispute, which is celebrated as a turning point in the UK’s trade union history – even though the strike was lost, the company continued to refuse union recognition and the striking workers were not reinstated. But there is little in these histories that is from the perspective of the women workers involved. In contrast, there is virtually nothing at all written about the Gate Gourmet dispute, which has left over 60 former workers without a job and without compensation from the company, and without support from their union. The research project, the exhibition and this website aims to fill these gaps.
Professor Ruth Pearson
School of Political and International Studies at the University of Leeds
Dr Sundari Anitha
School of Social Sciences, University of Lincoln
Professor Linda McDowell
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
The research team wish to acknowledge the support and assistance of the following individuals:
and Chris Thomas.
We also acknowledge with thanks the contributions of the women from Grunwick and Gate Gourmet who shared their stories, memories and documents with us.