The Grunwick strike was the first time that black or Asian workers were at the forefront of industrial action. The management severely underestimated the women workers. More than 100, led by Jayaben Desai walked out in August 1976 in a dispute that lasted for almost two years.
Jayaben Desai projected a completely different face of the trade union movement. Black and Asian workers had been ignored for a long time, and then finally Grunwick placed them at the centre. The working women who went on strike, led by Jayaben Desai, are a reminder that the trade union movement is one of the most diverse and dynamic.
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