Striking similarities: representing South Asian women's industrial action in Britain


The focus of this article is two significant episodes in British labour politics. The first is the Grunwick strike between 1976 and 1978; the second a dispute at Gate Gourmet that began in 2005. In both disputes, women of South Asian origin were the key actors and their legacy has been constructed through striking imagery as one in which against the odds exotic or passive Others became unexpected heroines of industrial struggle. These representations retained their power, despite significant social, economic and political changes in ‘post-Fordist’ Britain, including in the political rights of strikers, and in the participation and position of both women and minority workers in the labour force. Drawing on interviews with South Asian women involved in each dispute, this article challenges these representations and their significance in accounts of the action, documenting the complex, multiple motives of South Asian women involved in labour politics in the UK

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oaioai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:4875Last time updated on 4/12/2012

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